Rigor Mortis: Introduction & Chapter 1- Janaye S.

In both the introduction and the first chapter of Richard Harris’ book Rigor Mortis, I was surprised to find that medical researchers have been taking shortcuts and giving up on what could have been imperative results and information. At the very beginning of the book, on page one, Richard Harris says,” I’ve…lately come to realize that the medical research is so painfully slow isn’t simple because it’s hard… It also turns out that scientists have been taking shortcuts around the methods they are supposed to use to avoid fooling themselves.”(page 1)


 Before reading this bit of information, I thought that scientists actually took the time to plan out and efficiently conduct their research, not make shortcuts. This makes me question if funding them is really worth it. Why should we pay for incomplete and sloppily-done research? If it were me doing the research, I would begin by pitching my idea to possible benefactors and promise to them that I would completely go through with researching. After getting a reasonable sum of money, I would create a budget and buy the necessary equipment needed to properly conduct my research. Then, I would begin testing and gathering results through trial and error. After that, I would compare and contrast my results from other researchers and restart the process until I came to a finite solution to whatever problem I was trying to solve.

Further along, in Chapter one on page 10, Harris begins to talk about how companies speak about their scientific discoveries to their audiences. “As far back as the 1960s, scientists raised the alarm about well-known pitfalls– for instance, warning that human cells were not at all what they purported to be.” (page 10). This quote is saying that back in the 60s, scientists actually spoke to audiences about the ups and downs of their research. The majority of media outlets today say absolutely nothing about medical research other than the fact that it is one hundred percent proven and recommended.

However, behind closed doors, we know that this is not the case. Rigor Mortis is saying that companies are masking portions of their research to bring in more money from consumers instead of telling them the truth about what happens in their testing labs. This isn’t good. Companies that are producing medical research should be saying something to the public about their research progress instead of hiding the bad parts of it.

Since we now know that some medical research companies are sweeping bad test results under the rug, can we trust any recent research breakthroughs?

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