Editor of Prestigious Medical Journal Says “Science has Taken a Turn into Darkness”

June 9, 2015   |   Josh Mur

Josh Mur
June 9, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) In the modern era of information, it isn’t necessarily uncommon to stumble across average folks—who lack a formal education in any scientific field—discussing scientific data. Thanks to the rapid evolution of the internet, acquiring a fundamental understanding of scientific theories is as simple as a few clicks on a keyboard and a couple of hours of reading.

However, there is much more to the science community than…well…science. The scientific method itself may be unquestionable. Still, the scientists, organizations, and interpretation of data are very much questionable.

The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet are two of the most esteemed and distinguished medical journals in the world. Both have published peer-reviewed data for around 200 years. Despite this, according to the editors of these outlets, fame and influence don’t inherently imply integrity.

Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, recently wrote:

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. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicity [i.e. pervasiveness within the scientific culture] of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct.

And there we have it. The editor of a prestigious medical journal that has published peer-reviewed data since 1823 has openly admitted that the corrupt have indeed infiltrated the science community and its media outlets.  Surely, this isn’t news to many, yet millions of readers have been and will continue to be deceived by the label of “peer-reviewed” in spite of this blatant confession.

What one can find almost laughable is that this isn’t the first time an editor of a prestigious medical journal has come forward and declared the science community and its publications to be manipulated and corrupt. In 2009, Dr. Marcia Angell of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote:

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.”

What does this information tell us? The most obvious implication is simply that we are being lied to by the very people we trust to explore the world around us and help us better understand it. Furthermore, it also poses a crucial question: how deep do the roots of corruption reach in the field of information? How much of what we think we know has actually been the result of manipulated data? Can it be fixed? Richard Horton, editor of the medical journal Lancet, has this to say:

Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive and innovative. Would a Hippocratic Oath for science help? Certainly don’t add more layers of research red tape. Instead of changing incentives, perhaps one could remove incentives altogether. Or insist on replicability statements in grant applications and research papers. Or emphasise collaboration, not competition. Or insist on preregistration of protocols. Or reward better pre and post publication peer review. Or improve research training and mentorship. Or implement the recommendations from our Series on increasing research value, published last year. One of the most convincing proposals came from outside the biomedical community. Tony Weidberg is a Professor of Particle Physics at Oxford. Following several high-profile errors, the particle physics community now invests great effort into intensive checking and rechecking of data prior to publication. By fi ltering results through independent working groups, physicists are encouraged to criticise. Good criticism is rewarded. The goal is a reliable result, and the incentives for scientists are aligned around this goal.”


This article (Editor of Prestigious Medical Journal Says “Science has Taken a Turn into Darkness”) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Josh Mur

Josh Mur joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in January of 2015. His topics of interest include culture, alternative medicine, and government corruption. He currently resides in Sacramento, California, where he was born and raised.

Share This Post On

39 Comments

  1. Written in precisely the format you despise: cherry picking minimal data to fit a pre-decided theory.

    Post a Reply
  2. Are you serious? No it doesn't. It highlights the article for what it is, another empty and drawn out attempt by a conspiracy theorist to spread their delusions and paranoia.

    Most people understand the peer review process is obviously not flawless, what exactly is the authors point? That people can be bought? That they are corruptible? That institutions modify their behaviour in favour of funding?

    I challenge this article for it is clear through it's language that the author has a fixation on shadowy secret agendas and the last thing the internet needs is more of this. Hell, I haven't browsed this website besides this article but if it's merely this nonsense then lets synchronise watches and DDoS at 0600 E.S.T.

    Post a Reply
  3. Chris Burrows The term "conspiracy theory" is in and of itself used most often by people who have already made up their mind that something shouldn't or wouldn't be plausable. In this day and age we are seeing countles repeated examples of the truth finally coming out and the conspiracy theorists being right all along. Keep an open mind fella…its the best way to absorb all the information, right or wrong, and then make a decision if you feel comfortable with it.

    Post a Reply
  4. I was simply defending my point. Now you're the one cherry picking for an argument. My mind is soooo open I can see the spirits.

    Post a Reply
  5. Chris Burrows You like that term "cherry pick" …but it is not always what it seems like. All arguments and debates involve cherry picking ones supporting data/information to one degree or another. Who deliberately looks for unsuporting evidence to further their own views or hypothesis? Quite often that lighter cherry isn't picked because its not ripe yet, or, the browner one has gone past and shows signs of rot. Most people are intelligent enough to determine if something is vastly out of line here. Also, the "cherry picking" accusation most often comes as a flawed reasoning of inference vs actual observation. You see a car in front of you nearing an intersection with its right turn signal flashing. You conclude that they will be turning right. Maybe the won't though; its possible they will turn into the driveway right after the intersection and just put their signal on a bit early. Your inference/conclusion could be in error if you start reasoning that all people who signal, do so for immediate reasons, or, for the reasons YOU assume. The observation however is what it is…. a signal is flashing.

    Post a Reply
  6. Chris Burrows What is conspiracy other than just a scary way of saying “alternative agenda”? Conspiracy theories are just human nature. Not all people in this world are honest, hard working and forthcoming about their intentions. Certainly we can all agree on this. So how did the term “conspiracy theory” get grouped in with fiction, fantasy and folklore? Maybe that’s a conspiracy, just kidding. Or am I?

    Post a Reply
  7. Science is for sale to the highest political/corprate bidder, to fit what ever desired results the politition/Corperation's agenda needs.
    Lets make up global warning to control people with fear & to charge fees or taxes for such fairytales, even though the head sciencetist who made it up, spen the rest of his life trying to disprove it "Al Gore's mentor"
    Or for big corperations to add poisins to our food & medicines that would not normally past testing to be safe for humans, so big money lost, now you just pay the so called experts off for what ever result you need.

    Post a Reply
  8. Chris Burrows Definition of a conspiracy theorist….. 'the idea that a group of people secretly worked together to cause a particular event'. Sounds more like you are referring to Big Pharma & Government.

    Post a Reply
  9. Wow. You each use a lot of words to say nothing. Rather than prodive a counter-argument, you merely scan for language which offends you and poorly jab at it. Conversation is about comphrension, reading between the lines and thinking about their actual meaning. I'm out of here, you are too boring to talk to and this nutty pocket of the internet is depressing.

    Post a Reply
  10. Excuse me, global warming IS a proven, scary reality and so are the catastrophic consequences of it around the world. The fact you are ignorant about it should prevent you from making such statements. May I humbly suggest you read a wonderful book that goes by the title of "this changes everything"?
    There are touched many an issue of those affecting our lives in modern days and I promise, all the myths are scrupolously avoided. Only proven fact and recorded datas.

    Post a Reply
  11. Science now in general is for profit not for humanity, we have the values(?) of capitalism everywhere: competition, efficiency and innovation but not an idea of better world for living.

    Post a Reply
  12. Cristina Rizzi , incorrect. Global warming is one of the biggest scams ever run on people. It is NOT proven. It is a biased collection of computer projections without any supporting facts.

    Post a Reply
  13. Ric Carter Global warming is real, but it should be simply called climate change. 2 facts do remain in the cluster of scientific confusion. The world has many times experienced much larger swings in temperature than now, and done so without human interferance. Also, the room for error on statistical based climate data is huge in comparison to the conclusions scientists gather from it. This is one reason why old climate data has been altered so many times, to better fit newer models claiming less room for error. Ultimately the biggest thing is that we should not lose our interest in watching out that the ocean temps don't rise up beyond the point of no return, as far as releasing trapped frozen methane pockets. That will end our existance here, period.

    Post a Reply
  14. Chris Burrows Take medication for that depression Chris. Chose the type/brand that scientists say is the best. Effexor works well, but some of its ingredients comes from cherries and that might pose a problem for ya, someone has to pick those cherries eh?

    Post a Reply
  15. "Vaccines are safe! GMO is good for you! Humans are warming the Earth! Vaccines are safe! GMO is good for you! Humans are warming the Earth! Vaccines are safe! GMO is good for you! Humans are warming the Earth! Vaccines are safe! GMO is good for you! Humans are warming the Earth! "

    :)

    Post a Reply
  16. There's a good thing about "global warming", even if it is a scam, the switch to renewable energy is putting those big oil and gas industry in a bad position. Who will need that much petrol in a successful future ? No one. USA would let the middle east minding their own business, Saudi Arabia would lay low for a little while. A lot would be happy just with this.

    Post a Reply
  17. Cristina Rizzi Why because the tele told you so? Study volcanoes, Ice ages & elliptical rotations of Earth around the sun; Science states that 1 volcano releases more green house gases then all the human race can create in a hundred years, Ice core samples from around the world have proven that there are warming & cooling cycles which are a normal occurrence in nature long before man showed up on the planet; every so many cycles around the sun the Earth's orbit goes more oblong which brings the Earth closer to the sun & farther away which affects cycles of heating & cooling trends..
    I do believe we are the care takers of our planet & we all should be taking much better care of our home, we should do it because we have that responsibility & not some fear tactics by snake oil salesmen.
    Before you call someone ignorant please make sure you know your facts.

    Post a Reply
  18. Keep in mind, earth is actually in a cooler period than in the past. Consider ferns and other tropical fossils found near the Arctic Circle. If we are causing global warming, why is Mars also warming at the same rate? Al Gore up there driving around in his SUV?

    Post a Reply
  19. Pat Sizzle Pizzle Mass-n The Saudi's already are investing in R&D of solar energy & the second biggest resource they have is Silica sand, the main component of Solar pannels.

    Post a Reply
  20. "what exactly is the authors point? That people can be bought? That they are corruptible? That institutions modify their behaviour in favour of funding? "

    so what is your point?? that people cannot be corrupt? Have you met the real world??

    Not too long ago this man "Dong Pyou Han, a former Iowa State University researcher charged with falsifying HIV vaccine research" he kept it going to keep funding.

    Now i can hear you screaming! peer review works! I pointed this out to show people can be corrupt. Not necessarily because they are bad people but because even though some people know they can figure out a problem, sometimes their funding may need to show progress to keep interest that will keep funding. It is just the nature of the beast. Those things can corrupt.

    There are also other studies that have been peer reviewed simply to discredit something because they are from the opposing point of view. Man made Climate change/climate change is a prime prime example. Fracking… there are proponents and opponents and they embellish or ommit things to support their claim.

    When i stated this piece supports its point..you point out that it "cherry picks" to pre decided theory. It has a bias but it is not 100% wrong.

    can you really tell me that studies have not been made to fit a predetermined theory of fracking and climate change? cmon don't be daft.

    Conspiracy theory is only thrown around to discredit something that one does not want to acknowldge or entertain. Sure there are things that fit that description but people toss it around soo much that they just use it when they don't like a view opposed to their either due to bias or lack of understanding.

    Post a Reply
  21. Chris Burrows "what exactly is the authors point? That people can be bought? That they are corruptible? That institutions modify their behaviour in favour of funding? "

    so what is your point?? that people cannot be corrupt? Have you met the real world??

    Not too long ago this man "Dong Pyou Han, a former Iowa State University researcher charged with falsifying HIV vaccine research" he kept it going to keep funding.

    Now i can hear you screaming! peer review works! I pointed this out to show people can be corrupt. Not necessarily because they are bad people but because even though some people know they can figure out a problem, sometimes their funding may need to show progress to keep interest that will keep funding. It is just the nature of the beast. Those things can corrupt.

    There are also other studies that have been peer reviewed simply to discredit something because they are from the opposing point of view. Man made Climate change/climate change is a prime prime example. Fracking… there are proponents and opponents and they embellish or ommit things to support their claim.

    When i stated this piece supports its point..you point out that it "cherry picks" to pre decided theory. It has a bias but it is not 100% wrong.

    can you really tell me that studies have not been made to fit a predetermined theory of fracking and climate change? cmon don't be daft.

    Conspiracy theory is only thrown around to discredit something that one does not want to acknowldge or entertain. Sure there are things that fit that description but people toss it around soo much that they just use it when they don't like a view opposed to their either due to bias or lack of understanding.

    Post a Reply
  22. Ric Carter You clearly have no idea of what you are talking about. I suggest humbly that some of you read that book I mentioned, it'll educate with (datas, no stories) on REALITY.

    Post a Reply
  23. Sean Schmidt Instead of talking with no clue, get some info, real info. You are the one that should stop watching telly. I READ, a lot, and not magazines. Then if you think that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and West Antartic ice sheet and many other phenomenons occurring at this time in the world are just not what they are, but normal occurrences with no consequence, or even that the world went through many a drastic change before and so we're all fine, well, you are delusional. We polluted this world in ways that affected and will affect the planet irreparably and at a fast rate. We added to what already played a factor and that is never going to stop, but to increase. The effect of global warming with an existing rise in temperature of just 0.8 so far has already triggered nonlinear tipping elements in global warming. Our emissions are rising so rapidly that predicting what will happen in details is truly impossible: yet we see the effect of it and it's nothing good. The melting of the permafrost leading to rapid sea-level rise, large scale of Amazon dieback which again affects drastically the ecosystem, rivers, agricolture, energy production and livelihoods: just fairy tales, right? The fast acidification of oceans proceeding far rapidly than expected has already brought devastating consequences on our ecosystem: all happened before you say (not true), so no need to worry, right? Go on thinking global warming (climate change) pose no risks: this is exactly what TV wants you to believe, because if you do not care, then no one will oppose the pollution and exploitation of this planet to the point where many (more) will die as a consenquence of that. You probably won't be alive by then so why care: others will have to live dreadful lives experiencing those consequences. Jeez guys, some of you are right morons and very very ignorant. Scientists, a huge number of people across the world, that base their lives and work on collecting data and analyzing reports on the situations are showing you the effect of climate change and you still deny it does exist or poses a threat. What do you know that they don't, I wonder, how comes you are not in their place knowing so much more…. Seriously.

    Post a Reply
  24. Cristina Rizzi …you are an idiotic shill who either sadly believes everything you spew…..and has not been out in the world much…(very naiive)….or you are a Bought-n-Paid for Global Warming Prostitute who is getting funded to lay on her backside and get this idiotic theory shoved up her orifices….what an idiot.
    RJ O'Guillory

    Post a Reply
  25. Emmery Neuperger …the term…"conspiracy theorist"…was developed by The CIA back in the 60's to smear anyone who didn't buy their crap about how they blew JFK's head off….so anyone who wouldn't buy into The Warren Commission Report was labeled a "Conspiracy Theorist"…and it has been very effective for fifty years…now that all the stuff we…"tin-foil-hatters" have been telling you about has been proven true, real and as abusive as we'd anticpated…most cleuless cowards have no idea where to turn…or how to absorb the truth….(oh, and I was Federally Protected Whistle Blower for US DoD for over two decades…all over their empire…so I know personally of the corruption and idiocy)
    RJ O'Guillory

    Post a Reply
  26. Emmery Neuperger …a quote from above…" Who deliberately looks for unsuporting evidence to further their own views or hypothesis?…" Well, an individual who is seeking the truth…and is willing to ask questions that balance out a perceived outcome, until there is enough evidence to support one viewpoint or another..or both…depending on the information available. That is not too difficult for an ethical, adult person to understand..is it? Oh, never mind, I'm not so sure you are the one to ask that question of…..ha!
    RJ O'Guillory

    Post a Reply
  27. RJ O'Guillory You instead are just a simpleton, convinced to know more than scientists. Maybe we should ask them to send you an invite to the next world summit on climate change, so that you can tell everyone how idiotic they are and how untrue their studies and discoveries are. Do yourself a favour: SHUT it. Btw, am older than you think and not so naive, or ignorant, or arrogant as you proven to be, given I bring facts not mere opinions on the debate plate. Go get some education and grow up. PS: go call your mother a prostitute and know little men like you opinions are worth less than a spit, you mysoginistic, disgusting and pathetic moron.

    Post a Reply
  28. Cristina Rizzi I do have a clue & a college education, I also happen to be a science buff.
    I also read a lot from well established fields of Science such as Astronomy, Volcano-logy, Oceanology, Astrophysics, Geology, Psychology, Sociology, Earth science, Genetics, Political Science, & Economics, that have been around much longer then the new cult of suedo science of the Chicken Little Global Warming ponzi scheme of control by fear.
    You mention Greenland's ice melting well Greenland received it's name by the Norse explorers who discovered it, but wait at that time it didn't have ice it was a green "vegetation" land during a period of warming as Ice core samples confirm.
    you also mention the ice sheets, there are maps of Antarctica without the ice sheet on it, that show it as a temperate region that are several hundred years old that match what we have found to be the actual continent under the ice.
    The discovery of the frozen Wooly Mammoths in Siberia that still had tropical plants in their diguestive systems.
    The discovery of former magnetic poles which indicates pole flips in the past.
    You mention the Ocean levels rising, well we all know that the oceans have always had cycles of rising & receding as history has mentioned many floods, the loss of cities & civilizations to which Science now confirms.
    Here is a new interesting fact for you, the Global Warming research team at present for the Artic can not reach it's destination do to the Ice pack build up on the ice shelf, oops.
    Now do I believe we are impacting our environment well yes but not by the Hoax of Global Warming.
    Nature has the ability to adapt & evolve but she is a cruel misstress for those that do not adapt go extinct.
    Do these things effect us of course yes we could be wiped out from existence by a great number of many things including a asteroid to a killer micro organism released from an ancient tree cut down in the Amazon or Africa.
    Any of these events can cause an extintion event.
    But for some to claim man is responsible for natural cycles in nature that existed long before human kind & long after, & that we can change it is pure arrogance.
    The real problem is humankind's belief that we are superiour to nature & the universe, that most of us forget how fragile our existance is & the many things that can make us extinct.
    My fear as with many others is Chemtrails, GMO's, Genetics, Haarp & Cern, to where man is attemping to mutate nature, this is what will be irreversable with dire consquences & most likely our extinct level event.

    Post a Reply
  29. Cristina Rizzi I do agree we need to take care of our planet & all of it's inhabitants.
    But a lie based on good intentions is still a lie & when people catch on that it is a lie the good intentions are lost along with trust.
    Politics 101 create a problem, blame someone else for the problem, come up with the solution to the problem, be hailed a hero for solving the problem & reap the rewards with all of it being untrue.

    Post a Reply
  30. Sean Schmidt Another that professes to be a scientist. If you were, so many idiocies wouldn't have happened to end up in your comment. Just stop trying to come across as knowledgeable when clearly, on climate change, you know very, very, VERY little. We'll ask the real scientists to send you too an invite to the next global summit on climate change, so you can learn something from those that study the subject, not bloggers or other journalists with a vague understanding of it. And please, for the love of decency, don't go around the internet to pick (here and there) from doubtful fonts something to post. Note: BTW, I mentioned the word moron on a very general sense, addressed to some people that clearly ARE morons: someone proved my point. So you can disagree whatever you like, but when insulted I stand my right to reply and I will always use it, without falling for this into any lower level of education or emotional control. It's called "standing up for ourselves". Go patronise your fellow man, he's the one in need of a lecture on that. PS: you should learn also to stay out of arguments that do not involve you.

    Post a Reply
  31. Cristina Rizzi I find it sad your need to be rude, although you are very entertaining & thank you for proving a couple of my prior points.
    I never said I was a scientist just a science buff, the point being there are more scientific theories that debunk the official global warming theory & that is just what is, a theory, not a proven fact, I can quote as many if not more official scientific facts & theories to counter it.
    Now as to the book you quoted," I only skimmed it" I do agree with some of the ideas it suggests & some of the responsibilities it also suggests, but it seems to be more of a movement towards a better world then a scientific field & the fact of those in current power would never allow to come to pass.
    If I may make a suggestion, read from the other science fields also to get a broader view of data.
    I'm just responding in a forum, I'm not writing a research paper or a thesis, so my apologies for my syntactic formatting & grammar.

    Post a Reply
  32. Sean Schmidt I find your attempt to make me pass as the villain here very funny. You compared my use of the word moron to a tirade of disgusting insults directed at me by a mysogynistic idiot and reprimanded ME for calling him what he is; what's your problem in life, you cannot see what's right and wrong? And why did you feel the need to enter an argument that didn't involve you at all? Then you state I am rude, just because I assert that you need learn and stop talking rubbish about a subject of which you are clearly and completely digiune of knowledge. Do you have any sense of perspective and reality? No, you live in a world of your own and no one can dispute its existence, not even scientists! On the entertaining bit, think for yourself: the patronising comment of yours prior to this proves that no matter how educate one is (theoretically), he can still remain very ignorant. I suggest to some men around forums to get under control their testosterone, so to speak through their brains instead of their testicles. To those alike you, to learn that being a man doesn't automatically make you more knowledgeable, nor elevates you morally above any woman. You are, in different measure than the moron whom attacked me, a mysogyn, hence why you put on the same level that tirade of insults and my use of the word. Fact is, every time a woman joins an only male panel of commentators, there appear some (pathetic) pseduo men in need to assert their "alfa male" status in the world. Insults and patronising attitude seems to make them feel better when debating with women, so I have to assume they feel threatened by their intelligence, or else they'd have a healthier exchange with them. Goes by itself that they have no solid arguments onto which base their point. Fact again is that your proclaimed broader view of data is most definitely as broad as your ability to treat others as equals: inexistent. You proved ALL my points, despite the arrogance masqued as humbleness of your latest comment. Now go get some real knowledge and stop making a fool or yourself.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>