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bobnotes Notes Current The Trouble with Footnotes and Authorities

When we read an article written with scientific sternness and supplied with a good number of references to scientific journals, we tend to think we must be reading the truth.


This section of my little vanity flower (or website) is concerned with what I have discovered to be the trouble with that.


I put in here specific cases of the trouble. Doing the detail work required to understand these cases is a little time-consuming, so you may just want to take my word for it. On the other hand, I do give references, footnotes and all that.

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Marcia Angell, January 15, 2009


   She’s also at Harvard.



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The case against science is straightforward: 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.

Richard Horton, April 11, 2015