Releasing the truth – Kerrisa L.

pretty viles
Colorful test tubes

After reading only one chapter of Rigor Mortis, I have been introduced to this new world where science is not as perfect as I had originally thought. In one of the first lines of the book Richard Harris says “Each year about a million biomedical studies are published in the scientific literature. And many of them are simply wrong.” (Ch.1, Pg.9) This line alone got me thinking about how many experiments and data are actually false, and can not be reproduced. The information that I read is extremely important and not nearly enough people know about or acknowledge the fact that this is a real problem in the science and biomed world.

If you were to calculate the amount of money that goes into all of these studied that are false, it would amount to a total of 28 billion dollars, a year. The average american household also spends about 900 dollars a year to support these studies. In an article named Believe It Or Not, Most Published Research Findings Are Probably False written by Simon Oxenham it states that about it around 65 percent of scientific studies are not able to be replicated. Which means out of that only 35 percent of the studies that the 28 billion dollars is going to are actually helping society. These numbers are not contributing to society in the way that we need them to be, if anything over the years the contributions from the biomed field to society are dropping substantially. In Rigor Mortis, Richard Harris states that “By Casadevalls reckoning, medical researchers made much more progress between 1950 and 1980 than they did in the following three decades.” (Ch.1, Pg.17) If you think about it were in the twentieth century shouldn’t the biomed field be much more high tech, and that there would be tons of progress, at least I think there should be. And after reading these numbers about how progress is slowing down I was astounded, because all this time i’ve that medicine and biomedical discoveries were being made very often. When in reality they aren’t nearly as often as they need to be, and a big part of this problem is that they studies scientist are using to recreate these discoveries and make more, are wrong. To change and fix this problem it will take a lot of work, and the chance that it will completely be fixed is almost impossible, but as of right now even fixing or getting rid of some of the published research will begin to help, and save millions. A lot of scientist are aware of the problem but not all, and even the ones who are aware don’t speak about it. Which is part of the problem because this needs to be spread and everyone needs to be aware to help, fix the mess that has been created.

A lung mural in Berkeley, California

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