When reading the first chapter of Rigor Mortis by Richard Harris I was both surprised and interested by some of the information that I had read. For example in the very first paragraph of the first chapter Harris talks about how the majority research, that is published by scientists, is not correct. In the first paragraph Harris writes “Each year about a million biomedical studies are published in scientific literature. And many of them are simply wrong.” These two sentences perplexed me. How could this be? Scientists are or should be very intelligent and logical human beings. So how could their research be wrong? Obviously they had proof that their thoughts and theories were correct. But it never occurred to me that the way they were researching or the research they were doing was counterfactual.
One thing that I have always wanted to learn a lot more about is cancer. It is something that is so commonly talked about but it is something that I think a lot of people don’t fully understand, myself included. As someone that has seen a lot of people get diagnosed with cancer in their lives, some survivors, and others not, recently that person was my aunt, cancer has always been something that intrigued me. There are a great deal of scientists out there researching cancer and with this new information that Mr. Harris has bestowed upon me it makes me question how much of this research is actually correct. One thing that I have heard about cancer is that doctors are always trying new medicines and procedures on patients. If most of their research is imprecise, then these patients are going through all of the difficulty and pain for no reason other than the fact that they have no other option but to try the new medicines and hope that they work, when in reality they shouldn’t have to hope. They should be able to listen to their doctors and take their medical advice with confidence.
Another thing about that chapter that shocked me was that scientists didn’t always repeat their experiments. Like how lazy of a scientist are you? If you don’t feel the need to redo your experiments or tests repeatedly to see if you will get the same results each time then you have no business being a researcher. There should be a rule in the science world that states how many times a procedure needs to be done to count as actual research.