Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine are the two most prestigious medical journals in the world.
It is therefore striking that their chief editors have both publicly written that corruption is undermining science.
The editor in chief of Lancet, Richard Horton, wrote last month:
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…
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