Contemporary science and medicine are losing credibility
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/12/31
“The Demise of Science? Hundreds of computer generated studies have been published in respected scientific journals” describes more problems than just the publication of fake articles generated by computer programs.
“Independent research, where funding is unrelated to findings, has become a rarity, and the end result is a dramatic deterioration of credible science” is spot on. What used to be the place for independent purely truth-seeking “basic” research, the “ivory tower” of academe, has become a place where budding researchers must find their own research support from outside sources if they are to have a career — see e.g. Science has become another Bubble; Science rewards hucksters and spin artists, not soundly tested science; The business of for-profit “science”; and links in those articles.
“The Demise of Science?” cites the increase in articles retracted because of falsification and other breaches of proper conduct.
Clinical trials are biased, and prescription drugs are now responsible for more deaths than anything but cancer and heart disease (David Healy, Pharmageddon, University of California Press, 2012; Peter C. Gøtzsche, Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare, Radcliffe, 2013).
A large proportion of published studies in medical matters cannot be reproduced.
Inveterate defenders of the mainstream will seek to discount the facts discussed in “The Demise of Science?” by noting that it is an Internet publication on a website that favors alternative medicine; but the same critique was made years ago by Marcia Angell, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine:
It is simply no longer possible to believe
much of the clinical research that is published,
or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians
or authoritative medical guidelines