"How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, & Wastes Billions" (Encore Presentation)

Sep 25, 2017

(Note: This interview originally aired back in June.) Our guest on this installment of StudioTulsa Medical Monday is Richard Harris, a longtime science reporter at NPR, who joins us to discuss his new book, "Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions." As was noted of this alarming and well-regarded new book by Kirkus Reviews: "An award-winning science journalist reports that research in the biomedical sciences is too often guilty of wasting time and money and, worse than that, actually slowing scientific progress and misinforming the public. Harris, who has been reporting on science for NPR for 30 years, talked with dozens of scientists in preparing this report on the lack of rigor in biomedical science. Among his sources are C. Glenn Begley, whose study of experiments in cancer research revealed that barely 1 in 10 was reproducible, and John Ioannidis, whose paper, 'Why Most Published Scientific Research Findings Are False,' exposed problems caused by poor study design and analysis. Harris considers specific problems such as the failure to run proper controls, contamination of cell lines, bad antibodies, untrustworthy biomarkers, and small sample sizes; more importantly, he looks at the entire culture of biomedicine and finds it in serious need of repair.... [This] easy-reading but hard-hitting exposé of a dysfunctional biomedical research system will inform and alarm general readers, and it is sure to stir controversy and arouse ire among those who feel their ox is being gored."