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‘Much of the scientific literature… may simply be untrue’ says Lancet’s Editor-in-Chief
Sunday, July 03, 2016 10:48 am Email this article
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.
— Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, April 11, 2015
He starts the article by saying:
“A lot of what is published is incorrect.”
I’m not allowed to say who made this remark because we were asked to observe Chatham House rules. We were also asked not to take photographs of slides.
Those who worked for government agencies pleaded that their comments especially remain unquoted, since the forthcoming UK election meant they were living in “purdah”—a chilling state where severe restrictions on freedom of speech are placed on anyone on the government’s payroll.
Why the paranoid concern for secrecy and non-attribution?
Because this symposium—on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome Trust in London last week—touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.
Horton R. Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma? Lancet, 2015 Apr 11; 385 (9976): 1380.
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