In a perfect world we would see first rate, objective scientific research being funded and published. Sadly, this is far from the case in the realm of modern science. The majority of the time, a biased peer review process impedes genuine scientific inquiry that doesn’t fall in line with mainstream theories. Special interest groups and political agendas many times take precedence over legitimate exploration. The result is a barrage of scientific rubbish receiving grants and funding, which is ultimately published by desperate media outlets wanting to make a splash. Hopefully, Dr. Ioannidis and his team at METRICS will remain keen on ensuring lousy, zombie science is identified and sifted.
“WHY most published research findings are false” is not, as the title of an academic paper, likely to win friends in the ivory tower. But it has certainly influenced people (including journalists at The Economist). The paper it introduced was published in 2005 by John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist who was then at the University of Ioannina, in Greece, and is now at Stanford. It exposed the ways, most notably the overinterpreting of statistical significance in studies with small sample sizes, that scientific findings can end up being irreproducible—or, as a layman might put it, wrong.
Dr Ioannidis has been waging war on sloppy science ever since, helping to develop a discipline called meta-research (ie, research about research). Later this month that battle will be institutionalised, with the launch of the Meta-Research Innovation Centre at Stanford…”
Combating bad science – Metaphysicians – complete article – ECONOMIST.com