Chapter two talked about many different things that can effect a scientific experiment. One thing though that really intrigued me was when Richard Harris was talking about scientists being biased in their work.
“David Chavalaris and John Ioannidas cataloged 235 forms of bias.” (page 41). Whenever I read this for the first time I had to re-read it after because that number is insane to me. In the book it mentions way’s scientists can be biased; such as verification bias, recall bias, measurement bias, sex bias, observer bias, and many more. One if not the most biggest concern to me about scientist making these biased decisions is that they can’t really help it. “Even though the lack of an effect can be just as important as a positive finding. That tendency skews the biomedical literature, tilting it to create a publication bias that can grossly distort the purported effect of a drug.” (page 41). Because of these biest actions from scientists it can keep them from reporting a failure. From them not reporting this failure people are possibly taking drugs or could eventually be taking drugs that are actually not doing what they are supposed to. This frightens me because often times you take drugs to cure things that could potentially make you sicker without the help from taking them. Imagine if that drug was to help with blood clots. If you are taking medicine that ends up not working you could get a life threatening blood clot in the lungs or brain. That thought is very scary and concerning to me.
As I kept reading further into the chapter it talked about running double-blind trials. “by running double-blind trials in which neither the experimental subjects nor the scientists themselves know who’s taking a drug and who’s taking a placebo.” (page 42). It also mentions that this technique is also used in laboratory experiments but to the same extent because often times it is hard to find people willing to give away their time from doing their own research. Even though being the person who does the blinding doesn’t sound very glamorous I think that is is a very important, and a useful job to help decrease the amount of biased decisions in a scientist’s research. I think that it is definitely possible with some hard work and persistance we would be able to convince scientist that this method could help them get results that can help propel their studies forward by them being more trustworthy.
In all I am very intrigued and concerned about how scientist biased decisions may affect us in more ways than we can imagine; with the scientists hope for finding out new advancements to help people.