Smacked with A Wet Rag “Research” – Ariel W.

It hurts my young and hopeful heart to admit that after reading Richard Harris’ introduction chapter of Rigor Mortis, I saw the science world in a completely different light. I almost felt guilty for looking up to scientists as the role models of our world all this time, then suddenly seeing them as if they were gang members or lying crooks on the street that according to page 14, create “untrustworthy papers [which are produced] at the cost of $28 billion a year.” After having read countless articles about advancements in cancer treatments, or in the treatment of HIV,  I’m now less sure that I can trust the information coming from individuals who are supposed to be the most knowledgable people in the world. It terrifies me that as students in the biomedical pathway who, in the future, will be relying on these research papers scientists create -based on experiments that are hardly reproducible – we will be stuck in a thick puddle of chard along with all of the other scientists who are doing lazy research, and we will never really be able to make any advancements in the biomedical field if we trust the information that some have tried to make a point of exposing as unreliable. What’s even worse about the reality check of the poor research being conducted in the science world is that if this rate of failure in the pharmaceutical industry continues, ” drug development essentially comes to a halt in 2040.” (page 18) By the year 2040, most of us will be on the main lane in our career track, and without drug development, the availability of jobs in the biomedical field will greatly decrease. According to an article published by Select USA, “The National Science Foundation reports that the U.S. biopharmaceutical sector accounts for the largest single share of all U.S. business research and development (R&D) investment, representing 23.4 percent of all domestic R&D funded by U.S. business in 2013.” This means that not only would 23.4% of job opportunity for us as biomedical students decrease, but a great share of money circulating the economy would vanish and if those numbers don’t scare us about the future of our precious world of science and the funding that it gets from, guess where, the money circling the economy, then we need to wake up and realize that this could lead to even bigger problems. Without progressive drug development, a never ending maze of problems could occur. For example, imagine if all that were left in the world for something such as the flu were the existing drugs that we had for it. Although the antiviral medications we currently haveare able to fight off one strand of the virus, the virus constantly changes. Without a progressive development of drugs for that said virus, everyone would get sick and there would be no way to prevent it. We’d basically be living in Flu-Zombieland, and without people like Richard Harris to dig the issue of poor research out of the sand, I’m afraid by 2040, we won’t be far from biting each other’s heads off.



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