On the very first page of his very unsettling book, Richard Harris points to some of those ground-breaking, fantastic studies that we sometimes hear about as the next big thing, the next miracle cure. These are studies that are often published in prestigious scientific journals. And Harris says that “too much of what is published is wrong.”
Harris knows his way around medical studies. He’s been a science correspondent with NPR for more than 30 years. His new book is called Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions.
The book is an assiduously reported indictment of a culture in the scientific community that often allows for short cuts to be tolerated and for basic research principles to be ignored. Richard Harris joins Tom from the studios of NPR in Washington.