Sunday, May 07, 2017

Medical studies are almost always bogus | New York Post

Medical studies are almost always bogus | New York Post:
"How many times have you encountered a study — on, say, weight loss — that trumpeted one fad, only to see another study discrediting it a week later?
That’s because many medical studies are junk. 
It’s an open secret in the research community, and it even has a name: “the reproducibility crisis.”
Image result for junk scienceFor any study to have legitimacy, it must be replicated, yet only half of medical studies celebrated in newspapers hold water under serious follow-up scrutiny — and about two-thirds of the “sexiest” cutting-edge reports, including the discovery of new genes linked to obesity or mental illness, are later “disconfirmed.”
Though erring is a key part of the scientific process, this level of failure slows scientific progress, wastes time and resources and costs taxpayers excesses of $28 billion a year...
...So why are so many tests bogus?
For one, science is hard. Everything from unconscious bias...
Then there is the funding issue.
During the heyday of the late ’90s and early aughts, research funding increased until Congress decided to hold funding flat for the next decade, creating an atmosphere of intense, some would say unhealthy, competition among research scientists.
...Add this to the truly terrible job market for post-docs — only 21 percent land tenure track jobs — and there is a greater incentive to publish splashy counterintuitive studies, which have a higher likelihood of being wrong, writes Harris.
One effect of this “pressure to publish” situation is intentional data manipulation.."

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