Sunday, July 1, 2012



I wish I really understood the underlying issue here, or had time to think things through. You may want to read the original paper.

Triggered by a comment from Bill regarding the work of  John Ioannidis, I dug through my file of draft posts and found this article by Ioannidis in the Scientific American, about a year ago, entitled An Epidemic of False Claims.  Subtitle: Competition and conflicts of interest distort too many medical findings


False positives and exaggerated results in peer-reviewed scientific studies have reached epidemic proportions in recent years. The problem is rampant in economics, the social sciences and even the natural sciences, but it is particularly egregious in biomedicine. Many studies that claim some drug or treatment is beneficial have turned out not to be true. Even when effects are genuine, their true magnitude is often smaller than originally claimed.

The problem begins with the public's rising expectations of science. Being human, scientists are tempted to show that they know more than they do. Research is fragmented, competition is fierce and emphasis is often given to single studies instead of the big picture.

Much research is conducted for reasons other than the pursuit of truth. Conflicts of interest abound, and they influence outcomes. Even for academics, success often hinges on publishing positive findings. The oligopoly of high-impact journals also has a distorting effect on funding, academic careers and market shares. Industry tailors research agendas to suit its needs, which also shapes academic priorities, journal revenue and even public funding.

The crisis should not shake confidence in the scientific method.But scientists need to improve the way they do their research and how they disseminate evidence.


Hahahahaaaa!!! That is ME laughing at YOU, cruel world.
    -Jordan Rixon

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honour more.

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