The Epidemic of “Junk Science”


From The Lown Institute: Every year, we spend $240 billion to fund biomedical research. According to a science reporter and author Richard Harris, as much as half of the biomedical research we fund is infected with reckless practice and bias.

“‘Cutthroat academic competition, a headlong rush to publish in high-impact journals, and scarce funding all lead researchers to cut corners, and the self-correcting mechanisms of science can’t keep up,’ writes Lown Institute vice president Shannon Brownlee in a review of Harris’ book in the Washington Monthly.

This pattern of careless scientific practices has created a crisis of ‘irreproducibility’ — few results of these studies can be reproduced, which calls their accuracy into question. And when more studies are conducted based on the results of flawed studies, it creates ‘the data equivalent of a house of cards,’ writes Brownlee.”

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