scientific papers – can you trust them?
“there is less than a 50 percent chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper will be true”
This is a statement I read this morning that was apparently made in 2005 and has been corroborated since by several other scientists. It followed the submission of a bogus report to over 300 open access journals (unlike the ones we have to pay a lot of money to access they don’t have the same rigorous peer review system) showing that lichen was effective against cancer to test if they were checking their submissions thoroughly enough. Half of them published the paper even though some of the bogus facts would have been so obvious – a non existent college being one.
So are the peer review papers all totally safe? Unfortunately not. If the trial has been paid for by a drug company 80% of the time it will be positive in favour of the drug. And drug companies have vast revenues manipulating what we read in all media – they want us to believe that their way is the healthiest way in the long term.
So what can you do? Use common sense. You read it in your paper – is it true? Before you believe what you read or hear think – who paid for the trial? Who benefits from me buying into this information? Do I trust that they have my best interests at heart?
But the clearest and saddest thing for me is that if the gold standard placebo controlled trials that we are being told are the only way to prove something is effective is this flawed then we need to wake up and change the rules. Start a new paradigm. Here’s hoping!