(Newswire.net -- May 22, 2015) -- The problem with scientific literature is that much of it may not be true or complete, according to Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet, world’s most well-respected peer-reviewed medical journal.
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue,” Dr. Horton commented in The Lancet.
According to Dr. Horton, there are various reasons for the gross inaccuracies; “studies with small sample sizes, tiny eff ects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflict,” he wrote.
Dr. Horton accused scientists of pursuing a “quest for telling a compelling story,” stating that scientists too often model data to fit the preferred theories or they tweak hypotheses to fit their data.
Actually, the questionable data is due to the nature of modern money dependent society where there is a constant urge for spending less and earning more. It is ‘publish or parish’ society that is driven by interest or fear of failure. However, journals and publications are not the “only miscreants.” According to Dr. Horton, “universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent,” which tempts scientists to slip towards dark side of science.
Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of another one prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), agreed with Dr. Horton.
“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,” Dr. Angel wrote in an comment in New England Journal of Medicine.
“I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine,” she wrote.
According to one of the most important scientists in history, two-time Nobel Prize winner in chemistry (1901-1994), Linus Pauling, Ph.D. we shouldn’t believe the most cancer studies, because they have been ordered by third parties.
“Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them,” Collective Evolution quoted Dr. Pauling.
Of course, it is not all fraud and deceptiveness. Scientists agree that there are other researchers, serious and independent, that should hold an equilibrium. However, those studies often are not being published and dwell below the radar of scientific community and the public.
“On the opposite end there are good studies that are not getting published for many reasons,” states Dr. Kevin Buckman, the CEO of Viratech Corporation.
“The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously,” Dr. Horton wrote, adding that the bad news is no one yet is ready “to take the first step to clean up the system.”