Who do we trust?
We constantly see people asking for “reliable resources”, "official sources". Especially when it comes to the health industry. Of course this is totally understandable. It seems logical to want to read information from a trustworthy source. But we must ask ourselves...
What makes a reliable resource, reliable?
When it comes to health there is a LOT of information out there. Some true, some false… on both sides of just about any topic that may affect your health. There are a lot of players involved and it’s not easy to know who to believe. There are often financial benefits that play into how a source promotes or impedes something. There is no one article or study that can, or should, influence anyone on any topic. There is just too much information.
This brings us to the multitude of opinions about where information is coming from. There are lots of sources out there. Some are considered official and others are not.
Who to believe?
What makes one source legitimate or not?
In regards to scientific research there are two medical journals that many look to, and rely on, for sound, honest, legitimate research. These are the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Can we trust these publications?
You will need to answer that question yourself.
Below are two statements from two Editors In Chief of two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. Both came out with claims that corruption is destroying basic science. Their claims are very profound, but sadly were kept very hush in the mainstream. Their statements deserve to be heard and should make everyone understand that there honestly is no truly reliable source. It’s going to have to be left up to all of us to find the truth.
First, the editor of the Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton wrote in 2015 (this is just a portion of his journal entry):
“Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicity [i.e. pervasiveness within the scientific culture] of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct."
He goes on to write:
“Can bad scientific practices be fixed? Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive and innovative. Would a Hippocratic Oath for science
help? Certainly don’t add more layers of research red-tape.”
Editor In Chief Of World’s Best Known Medical Journal: Half Of All The Literature Is False
Arjun Walia May 16, 2015