Chapter 1 – Jennifer O.

I never really questioned what was being told to me but after reading the first chapter of Rigor Mortis, I am starting to think differently. In the first chapter the author Richard Harris is explaining how even scientist can mess up  while doing their job and give us false information. I understand that because we are all humans and we are not perfect, but what surprised me was that some scientist are skipping important steps and procedures that need to be done to have correct information. Richard Harris explained that experiments and research have to be planned out and monitored very carefully. Then, he explained how the Global Biological Standards Institute estimated how wrong the studies scientist published are, “20 percent of studies have untrustworthy designs; about 25 percent use dubious ingredients, such as contaminated cells or antibodies.” (Pg 14) This surprised me because I did not know about this. From the things we are learning in school, I thought that creating a lab experiment would be fun and easy but this chapter really opened my eyes to how difficult it can be.

If scientist are not putting enough care into checking their work and having all the correct ingredients they will be putting out wrong information. I found it surprising that after scientists are corrected and figure out that their work is not correct some still keep it or decide not to say anything because they do not want to be embarrassed. “Some researchers simply dismissed Wager’s discovery and kept on publishing their transdifferentiation results.” (Pg 24) Then, he explained that scientist did not listen when they were told that their experiments were wrong and that they did not have enough strictness in their work. They continued with their work because they invest a lot of time and money on their research and it is hard to just give up on something that you work very hard on.

After everything I have read from this chapter, in the future when I am conducting research experiments I will definitely pay more attention to what I am using and I will work harder on taking more time to find correct research instead of just using information that might be wrong because it was easier to find. I think that if we pay more attention to the problems we are having with science right now we will have better outcomes and can advance more in the future. It was very shocking to hear that we are worsening in drug development, “The rate of new-drug approval has been falling since the 1950’s. In 2012, Jack Scannell and his colleagues coined the term “Eroom’s Law” to describe the steadily worsening state of drug development.” (Pg 18). This is not something I expected because I’ve always heard that science and everything we create will be better in the future and will just keep getting better. I hope this changes but to start the change we need to be more careful with what we are publishing and putting out.

Chapter 1


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