Time To Assume That Health Research Is Fraudulent Until Proven Otherwise?

From thebmjopinion

An interesting article in the BMJ opinion blog. The ongoing credibility and reproducibility crisis in institutionalized research continues to unfold.

Health research is based on trust. Health professionals and journal editors reading the results of a clinical trial assume that the trial happened and that the results were honestly reported. But about 20% of the time, said Ben Mol, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Monash Health, they would be wrong. As I’ve been concerned about research fraud for 40 years, I wasn’t that surprised as many would be by this figure, but it led me to think that the time may have come to stop assuming that research actually happened and is honestly reported, and assume that the research is fraudulent until there is some evidence to support it having happened and been honestly reported. The Cochrane Collaboration, which purveys “trusted information,” has now taken a step in that direction.

As he described in a webinar last week, Ian Roberts, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, began to have doubts about the honest reporting of trials after a colleague asked if he knew that his systematic review showing the mannitol halved death from head injury was based on trials that had never happened. He didn’t, but he set about investigating the trials and confirmed that they hadn’t ever happened. They all had a lead author who purported to come from an institution that didn’t exist and who killed himself a few years later. The trials were all published in prestigious neurosurgery journals and had multiple co-authors. None of the co-authors had contributed patients to the trials, and some didn’t know that they were co-authors until after the trials were published. When Roberts contacted one of the journals the editor responded that “I wouldn’t trust the data.” Why, Roberts wondered, did he publish the trial? None of the trials have been retracted.

Later Roberts, who headed one of the Cochrane groups, did a systematic review of colloids versus crystalloids only to discover again that many of the trials that were included in the review could not be trusted. He is now sceptical about all systematic reviews, particularly those that are mostly reviews of multiple small trials. He compared the original idea of systematic reviews as searching for diamonds, knowledge that was available if brought together in systematic reviews; now he thinks of systematic reviewing as searching through rubbish. He proposed that small, single centre trials should be discarded, not combined in systematic reviews.

Mol, like Roberts, has conducted systematic reviews only to realise that most of the trials included either were zombie trials that were fatally flawed or were untrustworthy. What, he asked, is the scale of the problem? Although retractions are increasing, only about 0.04% of biomedical studies have been retracted, suggesting the problem is small. But the anaesthetist John Carlisle analysed 526 trials submitted to Anaesthesia and found that 73 (14%) had false data, and 43 (8%) he categorised as zombie. When he was able to examine individual patient data in 153 studies, 67 (44%) had untrustworthy data and 40 (26%) were zombie trials. Many of the trials came from the same countries (Egypt, China, India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey), and when John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford University, examined individual patient data from trials submitted from those countries to Anaesthesia during a year he found that many were false: 100% (7/7) in Egypt; 75% (3/ 4) in Iran; 54% (7/13) in India; 46% (22/48) in China; 40% (2/5) in Turkey; 25% (5/20) in South Korea; and 18% (2/11) in Japan. Most of the trials were zombies. Ioannidis concluded that there are hundreds of thousands of zombie trials published from those countries alone.

Others have found similar results, and Mol’s best guess is that about 20% of trials are false. Very few of these papers are retracted.

This is probably one of the harshest points.

Research fraud is often viewed as a problem of “bad apples,” but Barbara K Redman, who spoke at the webinar insists that it is not a problem of bad apples but bad barrels if not, she said, of rotten forests or orchards. In her book Research Misconduct Policy in Biomedicine: Beyond the Bad-Apple Approach she argues that research misconduct is a systems problem—the system provides incentives to publish fraudulent research and does not have adequate regulatory processes.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Here is a complete recording of the webinar where these issues were discussed.

Fraudulent Trials in Systematic Reviews – A Major Public Health Problem

Research seminar hosted by Professor Ian Roberts, Co-Director of the Clinical Trials Unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Chair: Emma Sydenham, Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Injuries Group, LSHTM


Welcome: Chair
Ian Roberts: Fraudulent trials in systematic reviews (15 minutes).
Ian Roberts is professor of epidemiology and co-director of the clinical trials unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is editor of the Cochrane Injuries Group.
Ben Mol: The response of the academic community (15 minutes)
Ben Mol is professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and chair in obstetrics & gynaecology at the Aberdeen Centre for Women’s Health Research, Scotland, UK.
Barbara Redman: Rotten apples or rotten barrels – structural issues in fraud (15 minutes).
Barbara Redman is an internationally respected expert on fraud. She is Associate, Division of Medical Ethics, New York University Langone Medical Center and Adjunct Professor, NYU School of Nursing. She is author of “Research Misconduct Policy in Biomedicine, Beyond the Bad-Apple Approach.”
Discussion (30 minutes)
Closing remarks from Chair

HT/Joe Cool

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July 26, 2021 6:11 am

It is a real problem. Whether it is corruption or stupidity or some combination I know not. Often worth researching older and alternative papers to see whether the new paper is in any way believable.

Curious George
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 26, 2021 7:53 am

Just look at the coronavirus. Three weeks ago science told us that face masks were no longer needed, now it hesitates. I doubt that there is any good science there.

Reply to  Curious George
July 26, 2021 10:32 am

Science??? Science can speak?
I thought science was a method.

Reply to  Billy
July 26, 2021 12:48 pm

res ipsa loquitur – the thing itself speaks

It’s a liberal characterization of a metaphor with popular usage.

john harmsworth
Reply to  n.n
July 26, 2021 3:00 pm

Them Latinizers sure spoked good! Still ain’t appropriate to attempt to apply it to science.

Reply to  Billy
July 26, 2021 5:30 pm

Sometimes you don’t need science but just logic. When you have a mask with holes a lot bigger than what you are trying to filter, it is logical to think that it won’t filter what you are trying to filter.

Mark D
Reply to  RayB
July 26, 2021 7:31 pm

When I hear “wear a mask” I ask the speaker exactly how long is a micron?
How many microns long is the virus?
What is the micron rating of the mask media?
Occasionally a bright one will bring up impingement but then the question becomes what percentage?
Usually they just stomp off on stompy feet.

Reply to  RayB
July 27, 2021 2:35 am

With the commonly available masks, the filtering is irrelevant. The masks don’t seal around the edges so most of breathing is around the mask, not through it. (23) Dr uses vape clouds to illustrate how masks do not work – YouTube

Reply to  pls
July 27, 2021 3:39 am

not only that but rebreathing air is foul
and masks encourage mouth breathing which would be way worse for sucking in bugglies

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  RayB
July 27, 2021 6:17 am

Yes, and South Korean Scientists did some pretty good science supporting simple logic. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/m20-1342.
Unfortunately they did not compare surgical and cotton masks to KN-24 and N-95 masks. And of course they did not measure transmission.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Curious George
July 27, 2021 6:51 pm

At one point it was biased, then it became corrupt – now it’s been weaponized.
I’ve only been saying it for years – fascist methods produce fascist results.
Every time.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 26, 2021 9:14 am

It’s corruption.

If you don’t publish, you don’t get hired, or put on tenure track. Journals are looking for interesting results, not solid science. There’s no punishment for being wrong and, if you are wrong, the chances of that being detected are minuscule because replication is almost never attempted. I leave it to you as an exercise to put two and two together.

The one field where replication is attempted is biomedical science. Drug companies scan the literature seeking findings that can be turned into profitable products. When they find something promising, the first step is to try to replicate it. They fail as much as 90% of the time. link

So, we have the vast majority, as much as 90%, of research findings being wrong. Why is that? The system is itself corrupt. Everyone knows it, the scientists, the journals, and the funding agencies. Nobody does anything about it.

What makes things worse is that activists and politicians with an ax to grind encourage the production of bad science so they will have an excuse to implement their chosen policies.

Exhibit A: climate science
Exhibit B: wuflu science
Exhibit C: anything to do with trans or lgbtq2wxp4udf (or whatever today’s initials are)
Exhibit D: anything to do with the environment eg. Great Barrier Reef etc.

Reply to  commieBob
July 26, 2021 11:33 am


See fauci trying to cover his ass by referencing ‘peer review’.

Reply to  DonM
July 26, 2021 1:18 pm

Peer review is a joke. It’s mostly voluntary work, hardly ever any pay. People who volunteer are trying to get in good with the editors. Doing it in the way the editors want improves the reviewer’s chances of getting their own work published later on.

Though supposedly blind, in most cases the reviewer can figure out wrote the paper. (If nothing else, authors cite their own previous papers as much as they can get away with.) If the author is a “big name” in the field, or if the findings are consistent with a consensus of the leaders in the field, the reviewer will know to not be very critical even if the work is shoddy. 

Also if an editor lets something get published that is politically incorrect, they likely will get fired or forced to resign. That could mean they will have to teach more classes rather continuing to receive released time from their university to work on the journal.

Editors can get removed for other lapses in political correctness too.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  DonM
July 26, 2021 5:33 pm

Long talk off a short peer.

lee riffee
Reply to  commieBob
July 26, 2021 11:51 am

I’d add an exhibit E to that – dietary science – demonizing certain foods (like meat) and flip flopping back and forth on others extensively (coffee, eggs, etc). A lot of the problems is it all depends on who is paying for the research and what kind of narratives are they trying to put forth….

Reply to  lee riffee
July 26, 2021 12:52 pm

Narrative. A handmade tale.

Conflating body and dietary fat has normalized the former and a deficit of the latter. Along with carbohydrates and comorbidities (e.g. diabetes), sedentary office lives, and technology to lure the unwary.

john harmsworth
Reply to  lee riffee
July 26, 2021 3:12 pm

If you ate more bugs you wouldn’t feel so oppositional.

Reply to  john harmsworth
July 26, 2021 6:51 pm

All it takes is a frying pan to turn a bug into a feature.

john harmsworth
Reply to  commieBob
July 26, 2021 3:11 pm

Bingo! Time to blow up the university system. First in the humanities. Then modify the structure in the hard sciences such that the great need to publish garbage is reduced. Make research grants available to those who propose something interesting, submit methodology for approval beforehand, establish independent peer review systems that are terrifying to the paper’s creator and do not make the paper acceptable for reference until it has been in circulation for a reasonable period. At least a year, .If we want to give researchers something to chew on to make their bones then give them smallish grants to write critiques of new papers or to act as independent “peer reviewers”. Finally, make all government grants other than military subject to full disclosure of the raw data. Take that, Michael Mann!

Charles Taylor
Reply to  commieBob
July 28, 2021 8:10 am

FYI. That paper you linked has been retracted. Something about not understanding the limits of detection. Science training really seems to have fallen off a cliff as that is a basic undergraduate scientific concept. There are a couple of comments about the retraction one of which is that the authors were not allowed to update their findings with additional data.

John Larson
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 26, 2021 12:08 pm

I humbly suggest that since Science (in the modern sense of the word), was initiated and developed by Christian intellectuals who believed they were studying the handiwork of a Creator God, and the pursuit continued to be dominated by the same right on into fairly recent times (about two thirds of all Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine were awarded to scientists who self identified as Christian, for instance), that it is simply unrealistic to expect the level of corruption in general not to increase over time.

With virtually all children being taught for many decades now, that Evolution (in the Grand Origin Story sense) is a “scientific fact”, it seems inevitable to me that a great many people’s concerns about any “later” will be fading away from now on.
Because the logical response to the picture GOS Evolution paints, so to speak, is to seek to insure mostly pleasant times for oneself, and avoid mostly unpleasant times, while one can experience anything at all. It just is . .

Thomas P Gannett
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 28, 2021 6:35 pm

Good idea Chas. If reproducibiity is the hallmark of science consider the case of synthetic organic chemistry. There is a journal named Organic Syntheses (OrgSyn) that reports the reproduction of previously published syntheses by qualified laboratarians. In this way researchers can decide for them selves the quality and worth of the reports, It could be time for a new journal or two.

Doug Huffman
July 26, 2021 6:11 am

Yes. It is better to be skeptical of health-research that misunderstands itself as a science rather than an art and technology that relies on validation and verification in stead of falsification. This is at the heart of the replication crisis, ad-hockery writ large.

Make the assertion and walk away rather than shoring up the argument ad hoc.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Doug Huffman
July 26, 2021 3:25 pm

I am aware that several drugs that have been developed did not have full disclosure of side effects that may have effected acceptance to the next stage of testing. I believe this has been fairly common in the past and some drugs have entered large scale commercial use based on this kind of partial disclosure. There should be extreme penalties for this sort of gaming the system. The difficulty is that if the research is undertaken in say-China?, we don’t have the reach to punish the perpetrators and so research will go there.

Reply to  john harmsworth
July 27, 2021 3:47 am

unless the FDA gets its payola nothing gets approved
nothing from O/S that hasnt then reapplied to them gets into usa or Aus due to our utterly stupid coat tailing TGA of the FDa.
there are good well documented drugs in Europe and elsewhere we have no access to due to the FDA and its financial stranglehold on approvals.
and they let some absolute foul/killer meds and devices get marketed with years required to remove them, usually enough death n disability to prove way over kill to even begin removals
then they try for Blackbox labelling to keep it going longer for the money

Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 6:17 am

Why is anyone surprised. Years ago a study found that 50% of what is published in US peer reviewed science journals can’t pass reproducibility. Nothing was done in response. No one in the government funded universities and research institutes cares about accuracy, they just care about bringing in more grant money. The quality of the research is irrelevant.

And as for the medical community, no one spoke up when 5 governors infected elder care facilities with COVID, no one spoke up when medical labs deliberately ran PCR tests to generate mass numbers of COVID false positives. The US medical community, the US public health bureaucracy, have proven themselves to be untrustworthy.

Between “climate change”, COVID, and the reproducibility crisis, no one should trust any researcher, any scientist, any doctor.

B Clarke
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 6:52 am

I will second that. Just had a battle with a consultant who said CT scans amplifie a growing aorta , were as a ultra sound scan shows a true picture, the doctor obfuscated when asked has it inlarged or not. ” don’t want to see you for five years,

Inhalers I asked is my Inhaler suitable for treating covid ( contains budesonide) I explained American doctors were already using it with good results, I was told ” I have no idea) yet the next week the UK government announced it was suitable for treatment, the respiratory doctor was clearly unaware of trials ,what colleges in other areas were doing ,when I asked about deaths from covid =silence. The corruption lies around covid should make anyone cynical about are health carers.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 7:37 am

“no one should blindly trust any researcher, any scientist, any doctor.”
Added blindly to make this accurate.

Trust but verify.

July 26, 2021 7:44 am

As bad as the medical system is these days I prefer “Doubt, but verify”

July 26, 2021 8:26 am

At this point it is verify and than trust. This is whole of medical 2nd opinions.

July 26, 2021 9:58 am
Reply to  Enginer01
July 26, 2021 10:43 am

Actually, I never have. Going back to the 1970’s.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Enginer01
July 26, 2021 11:03 am

I used to think the CDC were the good guys, bravely out on the front lines fighting disease around the world. Their current behavior about covid changed my mind and now I trust nothing they say.

On the outer Barcoo
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
July 26, 2021 12:24 pm

Check where their funding comes from …

shortie of greenbank
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
July 26, 2021 3:18 pm

Back in 2003 the CDC attempted to patent the entire wuflu virus according to patents lodged. This wasn’t successful until about 2008 after years of pressure to do so. Within a week of lodgement of this request in 2003 a private company lodged a drug patent that is used in combating it. According to he work of Dr David Martin a specialist of looking through patents etc there are some 70+ patents to do with coronaviruses and in particular the ‘novel’ spike protein (it isn’t novel if you have patents going back 20 years on it!). These patent numbers are all supplied in the talks he has given and the last patents he talks about are march 2019…. well before wuflu came along.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  shortie of greenbank
July 27, 2021 2:38 am

If true, this is pretty horrifying stuff. Any links to substantiate these claims? My inclination is to believe this based on how I perceive most government as dishonest but it also has the smell of conspiracy theory.

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
July 27, 2021 3:56 am

they even list the patent applications n dates for you to go look at
excellent clip on brighteon cos utubecensorship

oh and this too;

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 27, 2021 2:34 pm

Thanks Oz, I did DuckDuck Martin and found a lot of articles. This is very disturbing stuff, nothing novel at all about Wuflu or natural if it was patented in 2003.

Reply to  Enginer01
July 27, 2021 3:51 am

was on zerohedge last night and yeah so might be rather embarrasing when it gets out the tests are so non specific really
a cold corona would have similar dna/rna
Ive done my best to get it seen n read

john harmsworth
July 26, 2021 3:27 pm

You mean, be a sceptic? I heard that was bad. “Trust the science”, the nice, honest politician said!

David A
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 7:40 am

Clearly the study that found 50 percent of peer reviewed studies wrong, was concluded to be part of the 50 percent wrong, and so discarded.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 7:58 am

So what do you trust, your own biases? Your own hunches? Entrails?

Reply to  mcswelll
July 26, 2021 8:10 am

How about your own intelligence, research and ability to listen to what your body’s telling you?

Reply to  icisil
July 26, 2021 3:46 pm


Reply to  icisil
July 27, 2021 8:45 pm

Add common sense to that.

Reply to  mcswelll
July 26, 2021 8:46 am

Well, when a friend had her thyroid removed because they told her she had cancer….(turned out to be totally false), so she has lived with the consequences of the error every since….


I had diagnosis of a Scaphoid fracture after a bad fall….so they insisted on plastering my hand and arm – turned out to be totally wrong diagnosis ..(I refused to let them do it.)

Because at the same time, they missed out on a severe lumbar fracture in the back + a dislocated shoulder which only were detected 7yrs after.

My opinion of the so called world leading French and British doctors is at an all time low, after they failed to spot another fracture further up, after a ski resort accident (not while skiing).

In my case I went to a RUSSIAN hospital some weeks later, who ran me thru their NMR + scanner machine within the hour, and picked up the whole story from start to finish + correct diagnosis.

Me take a Covid “vaccine” you gotta be kidding!

I follow Prof Montagnier + Didier Raoult on this one, and their sound advice on proper diet, proper preventative medicine, vitamin D & sunshine not quack stuff stuffed into a needle, with barely a year of track record.

john harmsworth
Reply to  pigs_in_space
July 26, 2021 3:39 pm

Yeah, but the Russian imaging machine was called Chernobyl!

Reply to  john harmsworth
July 27, 2021 8:13 am

Don’t be stupid. Get some lessons in Geography!

Chernobyl (Pripyat) is in Ukraine, on the edge of the Pripyat marshes, a large nature reserve dividing Belarus from Ukraine.

You can fit the whole of Europe into the space to the Russian border from URAL near Bryansk (which was also heavily polluted in 1986) with plenty space to spare.

Getting an IRM in Russia is same day, no waiting on a modern foreign built machine unlike in France where you might have to wait 2 months and pay 20X more.

We might say after the nuclear accidents of the USA, France and UK, they have no lessons to give.

The Baker & Castle Bravo tests were the largest radiological accidents in history.

All deliberate and premediated with live experimentation on servicemen.

pHil R
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 10:59 am

Why is anyone surprised. Years ago a study found that 50% of what is published in US peer reviewed science journals can’t pass reproducibility.

Gives a new meaning to the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 11:41 am

‘Mistrust, then verify.’

Jim Whelan
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 26, 2021 11:42 am

a study found that 50% of what is published in US peer reviewed science journals can’t pass reproducibility

Reproducibility is an issue because universities only reward original research. Redoing someone else’s experiment isn’t “original” and therefore seldom done.

Coach Springer
July 26, 2021 6:24 am

It appears that the system largely allows rewards for desirable conclusions and provides little in the way of disincentive for unethical research. All while shrugging off efforts to emphasize quality. The blight extends beyond the barrel.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Coach Springer
July 26, 2021 6:52 am

I agree wholeheartedly and I have seen this in action up close through my own clinical career.

July 26, 2021 6:25 am

The coronavirus mess shows there is also a problem with medical authorities
ignoring genuine studies that produce results unacceptable to Pharmaceuticl companies for some reason er Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine.

Reply to  jon
July 26, 2021 6:27 am

Change “Pharmaceuticl” to “pharmaceutical” and “er” to “eg”

john harmsworth
Reply to  jon
July 26, 2021 3:42 pm

And hydroxycloroquine to “Trump-juice”.

Jackie Pratt
July 26, 2021 6:34 am

Wow. Even worse than I thought. Is poor ‘on the street’ folks don’t stand a chance when it comes to finding out what is what. Too much dependence on ‘authority’ that has been corrupted, infiltrated and stolen. Too much dependence on the internets also. It feels like 1984’s brave new world during the descent of man. Trust but verify is very difficult to do.

Reply to  Jackie Pratt
July 27, 2021 3:59 am

it only takes a personal “near miss/misery by med” event to make doing your OWN research n enquiry a LOT easier

Tom Halla
July 26, 2021 6:38 am

Results like this are why the Trump Administration’s proposed ban on “secret science” was fought so hard by the environmental activist community.
The dubiousness of some of the PM2.5 studies come to mind.

B Clarke
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 26, 2021 7:41 am

Someone replied on another article yesterday about salt being substituted for citric acid causing increases in lung disease, pm2.5 gets the blame ,which i have always thought was exaggerated and agenda driven.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 26, 2021 3:44 pm

And the politicians who fought Trump’s bad science restraints are the ones who use bad science to support their terrible policy. They know it’s bad. They need it to be bad. It is teh ammo for their destructive artillery.

Tom Halla
Reply to  john harmsworth
July 26, 2021 4:29 pm

I have a nasty suspicion that some of the “health effects of PM2.5” trials involved a large number of separate cells in the study, and only the “significant” cells were reported (HARKing), a variety of dishonest cherry picking.

Robert Alfred Taylor
July 26, 2021 6:41 am

What the heck is a “zombie trial?” It isn’t defined, and I’ve never heard or seen the term before.

Roy Martin
Reply to  Robert Alfred Taylor
July 26, 2021 7:34 am

That would be a study that should be dead but is still alive – a zombie:

“…his systematic review showing the mannitol halved death from head injury was based on trials that had never happened…. None of the trials have been retracted.”

Reply to  Robert Alfred Taylor
July 26, 2021 8:13 am

When the randomized controlled trial data lacks so much credibility that they can be called ‘zombies’. John Carlisle must have identified it first as I saw this definition in an editorial in the January 2021 issue of Anaesthesia (written by Ioannidis).https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/anae.15297

Robert Alfred Taylor
Reply to  L R C
July 26, 2021 11:16 am

Thanks, both of you. I had a vague idea from the post, but now much more precise.

Andy Pattullo
July 26, 2021 6:51 am

In my career I have participated in epidemiological, clinical and wet-lab based medical research. I don’t do so any longer and haven’t for years. I have seen too many examples of incompetent, fraudulent and misguided research practices to wish to be part of what currently constitutes research in the medical field. I have reviewed studies for publication that I recommend not be published for very good reasons only to see them be published and added to the pile of unreliable or wrong information on which others will now make decision critical to the health of our patients. I feel very bad for those who struggle to do objective and reliable research and bring it to publication as they are competing with charlatans, fools and unscrupulous money miners.

July 26, 2021 6:53 am

“Time To Assume That Health Research Is Fraudulent Until Proven Otherwise?”

Have you ever visited  https://retractionwatch.com/

The overwhelming majority of cases are medical science related. It gives a whole new meaning to Trust me I’m a doctor

July 26, 2021 7:06 am

Isn’t this what James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian demonstrated in their hoax grievance studies?

Ben Vorlich
July 26, 2021 7:10 am

Isn’t the classic case of fraudulent health researchthat done by Ancel Keys? His work on heart disease, cholesterol and saturated fats in the 7 Nations Study excluded data from nations which ran counter to his ideas.
But his work still guides a lot of the eat vegetables not meat movement; giving a two pronged attack health and climate change. Of course both reasons are deeply flawed.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 26, 2021 12:25 pm

And yet Keys is still cited as an authority and his work for dietary guidance. Even after this long.

Walter Sobchak
July 26, 2021 7:31 am

The first step in restoring public trust should be the prosecution of St. Anthony Fauci.

John Moore
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
July 26, 2021 4:59 pm

F. Collins, Dir. NIH, should fire Fauci, resign, and dedicate his energies to his site, Biologos.

July 26, 2021 7:34 am

“that the time may have come to stop assuming that research actually happened and is honestly reported, and assume that the research is fraudulent until there is some evidence to support it having happened and been honestly reported.”

This is how pretty much all science should work. Should have always worked. The idea that someone publishes something and everyone goes, well, that is settled is completely against the entire concept of science.

July 26, 2021 7:55 am

Suspect until proven valid – by replication.

July 26, 2021 7:38 am

Research reliability across all subjects see >1000 papers added per year to Retraction Watch database. There’s been over 140 COVID19 related papers withdrawn or retracted and questions asked regarding quality & ethics.


July 26, 2021 7:52 am

Science in general is being infiltrated, politicized & corrupted like most everything else. It’s corrupting medical science and that’s a health/physical danger.

oebele bruinsma
July 26, 2021 8:12 am

“Time To Assume That Health/ Climate Research Is Fraudulent Until Proven Otherwise?” would be a better title.

July 26, 2021 8:24 am

Yes, all research at all academic/government institutions should be held in suspicion and without merit until they are proven otherwise. All should attacked FOIA and legal resources available. Verify than trust.

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 26, 2021 9:14 am

I am shocked. No, really I am. I have seen in my career the odd strange result in my neck of the wood, astrophysics, but never to the extent that fraud and fabrication could be suspected, just poor data or plainly not being very good at interpreting it. But wholesale deception is something different altogether. And who cares about a contentious result in astronomy? But in medicine fraud costs lives, possibly of my loved ones. The perpetrators should hang from lamp posts.

July 26, 2021 9:18 am

You are only a skeptic if you disagree with settled science. Otherwise you are a good fellow and not a skeptic and are worthy of praise and being published.

From the article it looks like the forest that needs attention.

D Clothier
July 26, 2021 9:26 am

There are two separate issues contributing to the crisis in research. The first is ethics. It is no longer taught, prioritized, or enforced within the research community. A professional engineer is required to take a separate ethics exam to become licensed and if found violating those ethics, will lose his/her professional licensure. This is regularly enforced by the state board. I believe the medical community has an ethics component through the voluntary medical associations, but not a legal statute addressing it unless there are criminal charges. In Texas, I have seen medical malpractice cases forcing a doctor to be removed from a hospital and the doctor just continues practicing in another location. It takes years before the board associations respond to complaints or investigations. I have never heard of even that minimal level of accountability in addressing research malpractice.
The other issue is little to no education in developing critical thinking. Self assessment, bias, logical structures, scaling errors, logical fallacies, data assumptions, sample bias, structuring research to disprove the hypothesis instead of proving the assumption – all of this small list can lead to worthless or even harmful results without considering intentional fraud, malice, or general incompetence.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  D Clothier
July 26, 2021 11:55 am

It’s more than just lack of ethics training that is the problem although that is certainly part of it. It is teaching students that using statistics is the way of finding the truth. You can buy software that has multiple tests built in and feed it data. The software doesn’t know that the user has not taken the time to evaluate the data in order to know what tests and data match up. P-hacking is a good example. How many researchers think this is a perfectly good way to massage data in order to find the TRUTH?. It is all part of the destruction of adequate teaching at all levels these days.

If you are ignorant of the background and requirements of the statistical processing you are doing, then it is hard to know what is ethical or not. Heck, it is just processing numbers isn’t it. What’s the big deal?

Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 26, 2021 8:08 pm

Using stats to fgilter a desired signal out of noise.

Colliding black holes.
planets orbiting stars.
Composition of said planets.

CERN physics
“Beyond the Higgs”

Climate Science including
Sea temperatures at all depths
All air temperature data
All models
All predictions

Wu Flu science

I would love to see a good statistician get stuck in to all of the above.
Of course he would need access to a lot of ” in confidence ” data first.

Reply to  ghl
July 26, 2021 8:10 pm

Sturgeon’s Law applies. ” 90% of everything is B.S. “

Reply to  D Clothier
July 26, 2021 4:00 pm

little to no education in developing critical thinking.” There you have it.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  D Clothier
July 26, 2021 5:36 pm

G’Day D,

 all of this small list can lead to worthless or even harmful results…”

I wonder if this comes down to the fact that it is the “teachers” who are also the ones “publishing papers”. They themselves don’t follow the list, so why would they teach it.

Peta of Newark
July 26, 2021 9:34 am

Here’s a goody: Will you get Dementia inside the next 5 years
(Seemingly your risk depends on whether you live in Canadia :-/)

I got 4%, despite stroke, hypertension, previous drinker & smoker, total non-consumer of fruit & vegetables and the only condiment in my kitchen is Dead Sea salt and on my table is a ground up animal salt-lick. (I do put a pinch of Epsom Salt in my coffee tho)

I’ve hatched A New Theory – that folks’ noses actually do get bigger when they’re offering mendacity.
It’s that First Impressions thing and that we are very sensitive to stress in other people.

Does the stress people put on themselves when passing off porkies ‘do something‘ to their face?
Not that it makes their nose bigger but makes their face smaller- hence the nose looks bigger.

When doing medicine, The First Person to learn to trust is yourself.
I learned that from cows and how they would sometimes take on themselves to eat the craziest of things. Dirt. Urine. Prickly, stinging and foul tasting/smelling weeds.
Nothing was off limits

Quite obvious that if ‘something’ was lacking in their diet, causing ill-health or discomfort, they’d take themselves off and look for a remedy.

We have that same instinct and it has a name – its called Pica
(It’s the Olde Englishe Worde for Magpie – black & white aerial creatures with a fondness for, well, almost everything. Often shiny things)

I came upon it with my little autistic friend- diagnosed as having Pica – as lot of autistic people are.
It made her deeply sad. Not the condition itself but that EVERYBODY constantly told/reminded her that it was ‘Something Wrong’ with her.

I told her The Exact Opposite – she was patently looking for Vitamin B, Iron, Copper, Sodium, Magnesium not very least.
Me and her did some interesting cooking and tasting experiments ….. fun cooking, happy cooking, educational & healthy cooking and managed not once to poison anybody.

From keeping the cows and esp since my stroke and giving up the booze, I recognised Pica.
It is The Instinct we have that tells us what to eat, how much and when.

Yet our ever-so-clever doctors tell us that It Is Wrong.
I beg to differ.

Your body tells your brain it needs something, your brain takes on the task of finding it and when you ‘get a result’ – one gives the other a big hug and a large shot of Dopamine for a ‘Job Well Done’

That is what keeps me off the booze, the ciggies, the fruits & vegetables.
Its what puts me onto Mindless Electronic Dance Music, salt, salami and saturated fat.
One main (evening ~ 7PM) meal per day with a mini snack (a Babybel cheese and crisps more oft than not) for breakfast around 2 in the afternoon.
Minimal carbs and choose the high fat option from the supermarket shelf.
Reduced Corners are The Most Fantastic hunting grounds

It lowered the hypertension, lost the weight and disappeared the pre-diabetes.
I did all the opposite things to what my doctor told me.
Also binned the Statins he insisted on giving me.

Trust yourself, let your body tell your brain you what to eat, when to eat and how to enjoy itself. No limits, nothing Off The Menu.

The 2 of them will reward each other. If there are any positive feedbacks in this Universe, there is one – you WILL be taken on the most truly unforgettable ride of your life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 26, 2021 10:13 am

I wonder what effect constant drinking has on dementia. The guy I bought my house from went dementia shortly after retiring. I know he drank constantly because I find beer cans everywhere on the property (a real slob). One of his co-workers told me they gave him 12 cases of beer for a gift when he retired.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 26, 2021 12:28 pm

So I should indulge my craving for pie and ice cream?

Reply to  AndyHce
July 26, 2021 3:14 pm

Yes and while your at it have a glass of your favourite tipple. Just remember to exercise and eat a steak more often than pie.

Reply to  AndyHce
July 27, 2021 4:13 am

in moderation of course
I find I get rhubarb cravings eat a few bowls then need no more
obviously something in it I required

shortie of greenbank
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 26, 2021 3:49 pm

Choline intake is probably more correlated with dementia/alzheimers than any bunk your gp is going to indicate. Interestingly enough studies even as far back as 1994 indicated that Statin use interferes with the role of choline in the brain. Animal foods, except dairy, are rich in choline (dairy is excellent for b12, b1 etc just not for choline) and considering a decent % of europeans and their decendants have genetic snips that indicate a higher requirement for choline in the diet then it is very important to maintain a high choline intake.

Reply to  shortie of greenbank
July 27, 2021 4:16 am

yeah body uses cholesterol it MAKES to keep the brain fed
anorexics have v high cholesterol levels as I found out when being seriously ill dropped 10+kg and it rose skyhigh . gained weight ate full fat foods and it dropped right down again.
look on TEDx talks for coconut oil for dementias and autism helps with symptoms

Last edited 1 year ago by ozspeaksup
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 27, 2021 4:12 am

hope your stockblocks are horse ones?
and yeah watching animals forage for what they need is wise
thats how Hoxey developed his salve and it works, man n beast.
ditto the pilloried royalraymond rife
nowdays its huge cost hitech electrical/radio etc treatments being found rather useful. we missed decades of help because FDA wanted its blood money.
useful hint
for any aussies with horses with cancers of the external areas made in WA Exterra only available via vets but its brilliant on sarcomas etc

Lowell Wickman
July 26, 2021 9:41 am

For almost a year I have been hearing that the vaccines are better than natural immunity. This is based off of a drop in antibodies in the naturally immune and a study that shows if the naturally immune take the shot their anti bodies increase to max levels.

It always seemed fishy to me that natural immunity was worse than the vaccine. My reasoning was that if natural immunity didn’t work then why would vaccines work because they use the same mechanisms. In addition they did not test this on people to see if their assumption was correct.

So what the reality is that Pfizer vaccine loses efficacy per a very recent Israeli study. People vaccinated in January were down to 16% efficacy in preventing any infection but more serious infections had a far higher efficacy. But even those for hospital admission and icu admission were starting to decline. Great Britain also shows a decrease efficacy for vaccines. I dont know if the loss of efficacy is just Pfizer, or all RNA vaccines, or all covid vaccines. Per the Israeli study natural immunity is much more effective than vaccines.

I have not been able to find the study recently. I dont know if I am using the wrong search criteria or our overlords have censored it. If someone can find a copy of this study I would greatly appreciate it.

Reply to  Lowell Wickman
July 26, 2021 10:16 am

This guy’s all over that stuff. You might find what you need here, or if you have a twitter account you could PM him to see if he knows


Reply to  Lowell Wickman
July 27, 2021 4:20 am

it was and still is at Zerohedge in the last week.
re natural immunity
yes its to the ENTIRE virus not a modified spike only
cant see how or why were NOT using immune blood derived IG treatments more widely
and running trials of Ivermectin in isolated contacts to see if their covid development stops or is minor cases. heaven knows Aus has enough in iso to trial it very well right now

Last edited 1 year ago by ozspeaksup
Coach Carter
July 26, 2021 10:00 am

There is a million dollar reward for anyone that can prove COVID-19 exists


You will need to provide actual scientific proof. Proof that it has been isolated, and then proof that the isolated virus does in fact cause COVID-19, such as a demonstration of the supposed harm it causes. ie. Fulfill Koch’s Postulates.


Reply to  Coach Carter
July 27, 2021 2:25 pm

Well, the governors of New York & Michigan [Cuomo & Whitman] seemd to prove that shipping ill patients diagnosed with “covid-19” from the hospital to nursing homes lead to a lot of deaths in other residents in the nursing homes. These newly ill NH residents seemed to have a similar illness to those from the hospital. That does not fulfill Koch’s Postulate, but there are a lot of dead bodies from some type of infectious process.
There are those who refute the utility of antibdy or nucleic acid testing to confirm an infection, so they also don’t believe in the pathogens isolated for (partial lst) ebola, HIV, TB, polio, avian & swine flu,…. [I’m referring to the authors of the book “Virus Mania” — personal aside: the book is long, repetitive, and very unconvincing].
It will be interesting to see difference over time in the % of patients who are hospitalized who have & have not been vaccinated.

AGW is Not Science
July 26, 2021 10:14 am

“Time To Assume That Health Research Is Fraudulent Until Proven Otherwise?”

Yes. The same can be said for “climate” research…

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
July 26, 2021 3:16 pm

And anything else politicians have had their grubby little paws on or in.

July 26, 2021 12:03 pm

Certainly in the UK, as a direct result of our having the NHS, “The Envy of the World”, our Government public health department, and most of our G P’s(General Practitioners, who provide front-line medical advice and treatment to the population at large)are firmly in the pocket of Big Pharma. I recommend folks to read, and become acquainted with the work of Dr Vernon Coleman, a highly ethical and honest man, who’s body of work on the subject of how our medics and administration are in thrall to the drug Companies, is roundly condemned by his own profession, simply because he is bang on target!
When I was growing up, in the forties and fifties, doctors commanded absolute respect in the community, I was taught that these were people who were absolutely dedicated to spending their lives guarding the health of the great unwashed. Not any more. I despise these people for having betrayed their oath and their profession simply to enrich themselves by misleading those who trust them blindly.
Doctor Coleman is worth more than any or all of them!

Reply to  Derek Wood
July 26, 2021 12:41 pm

I like Dr Coleman very much I’m reading his book on vaccines and I’ve seen some of his online videos about covid vaccines. I don’t know enough yet to say he is usually right but I think I can safely say he speaks what he believes is right regardless of any consequences he may face. I certainly have more respect for him than I do for my own gp or my wife’s gp. In fact our local medical centre is a place we avoid as much as possible.

July 26, 2021 1:52 pm

Trust, but verify is always an option.

Reply to  gringojay
July 26, 2021 5:22 pm

It’s more of an option if you have AR-15, or F-15.

john harmsworth
July 26, 2021 2:58 pm

I’m not sure fraudulent is the right or most accurate term. It is coloured and twisted by the immense money at stake in the field. The saga of Fauci and Gates and the vaccine and “gain of function” research is just the recent and most spectacular and sordid example. Anywhere massive amounts of money get concentrated, people like these lose their minds or certainly their morals. Those that had any.

July 26, 2021 4:06 pm

My answer to the question of the day, “Time To Assume That Health Research Is Fraudulent Until Proven Otherwise?” is, I am afraid to say, is yes.

The quality of research around CV-19, global warming, dietary and environmental issues, etc. is so poor that I think these researchers require constant supervision and their work must be submitted for frequent examination.

July 26, 2021 4:31 pm

A recent example:

What that means is that the study is rubbish, and cannot make any claims about covid whatsoever. Yet it does. And it’s been published in a peer reviewed journal.

Does covid cause brain damage?

James F. Evans
July 26, 2021 6:43 pm

The science isn’t there.

July 26, 2021 9:12 pm
Craig Austin
July 27, 2021 3:23 am

Veritas, trust but verify.

July 27, 2021 6:46 pm

Given the fact that Iatregenic deaths are the third most common it’s made wonder why any one trusts western medicine

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