Ivermectin COVID-19 Scandal Shows How Vulnerable Science Is to Fraud - ScienceAlert
Jul 19, 2021 1 min, 17 secs
Haruko Obokata published two papers in January 2014 that described how regular blood cells could be turned into pluripotent stem cells.

By July, the papers were retracted.

It took years longer, but the scientific community got an approximate answer when further related papers by Obokata were also retracted for image manipulation, data irregularities, and other problematic issues. .

An important result was published, it was doubted, it was tested, investigated, and found wanting… and then it was retracted.

Most scientists assume they will never come across a single case of fraud in their careers, and so even the thought of checking calculations in reviewable papers, re-running analyses, or checking if experimental protocols were properly deployed is deemed unnecessary?

More recently, the evidence for ivermectin's efficacy relied very substantially on a single piece of research, which was preprinted (that is, published without peer review) in November 2020.

This study, drawn from a large cohort of patients and reporting a strong treatment effect, was popular: read over 100,000 times, cited by dozens of academic papers, and included in at least two meta-analytic models that showed ivermectin to be, as the authors claimed, a "wonder drug" for COVID-19.

A recent editorial in the British Medical Journal argued that it might be time to change our basic perspective on health research, and assume that health research is fraudulent until proven otherwise.

That is to say, not to assume that all researchers are dishonest, but to begin the receipt of new information in health research from a categorically different baseline level of skepticism as opposed to blind trust

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