We did some stuff on a Nature paper that did not work. It turns out that at least six labs did the same.
However, it is not good for your career to be spending all you time saying that the stuff published by the Science semi-god is built on quick sand especially if you are an American junior researcher trying to reproduce an Amercian Demi-God who sits on all the grant panels.
When I was a young researcher..I was once warned by one such Amercian demi-god "Don't get into doing these experiments because we are bigger than you" My response was "we had done them already and the the research idea didn't work". This was indeed what turned out to be the case, but it took a clinical trial to flop for this to be realised by the masses...but it is clear that for some people "S**t don't stick" and there are alot of teflon men and women in Science:-)
Rosenblatt says the costs of repeating wrong research are adding up. He says on average it takes “approximately two to six scientific personnel one to two years of work in an industry laboratory” to try to reproduce original experiments at an average cost of $500,000 to $2 million.
They must be paying their staff too much or the contract research organisation they are using are too expensive:-(
In his editorial
, published in Science Translational Medicine, Merck’s medical chief paints a dire picture:
As the public, government, and private funders of research comprehend the extent of the problem, trust in the scientific enterprise erodes, and confidence in the ability of the scientific community to address this problem wanes. In addition, there is considerable potential for reputational damage to scientists, universities, and entire fields (for example, cancer biology, genomics, and psychology).
Why is science wrong so often? Merck lists the usual suspects: pressure to publish and win grants, careerism, poor training of students, and journals that don’t review reports rigorously enough.
It is true that the system is geared to rewarding those publishing in the top journals in terms of grants and jobs and the pressure comes from Governments. The Research Assessment Exercises in UK put pressure on Universities (who get their money based on performance) who can then put pressure on their staff to publish, publish, publish
Instead of trying to fix cultural problems in labs or passing new regulations, Merck thinks some punitive economic incentives are in order, specifically, a “full or partial money-back guarantee.” That is, if research that drug companies pay for turns out to be wrong, universities would have to give back the funding they got. Merck thinks this will put the pressure right where it belongs, on the scientists.
This is not an incentive surely it is a punishment, but an uninforcable punishment. I publish something and Merck goes away and does it badly and I then have to pay them...yer right.
I have a good example when pharma was doing some EAE work and they could not get it to work. We had not been asked by them to supply protocols and had been paying another lab for advice.
They made up their own protocol based on what they thought we were doing. We swopped our material used to induce EAE, ours worked in our mice ours worked in their mice, their's didn;t work in their mice and didn't work in our mice.....If it ain't broke don't fix it,,but people will tinker...The company lab was closed down
However if companies give millions to universities to develop their patents, then do they have a point?
However, I have been saying that clinicans destroy good ideas by bad trials...so it is not all bad science.
But I do know that pharma do repeat stuff....maybe they should publish it and then the demi-gods would not be see to be such demi gods and then the lemmings may stop following them.
It’s unlikely that universities will jump at Merck’s offer for more accountability. That’s because they are set up to collect R&D money, not return it. If this became a requirement it would stop [university-industry] research in its tracks,” says David Winwood, a business development executive at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Few if any public schools would have either the (financial) capacity or, I suspect, the legal authority, to enter into such an agreement.”
Drug companies aren’t saints, either. Suppressing and massaging negative results from drug trials isn’t uncommon and it’s a lot more likely to harm patients than bungled academic research.....
The other problem with Merck’s proposal to universities is it would open a kind of Pandora’s box of accountability.....companies paid for $4.6 billion in “sponsored” research at U.S. universities, hospitals, and research centers in 2014. The federal (US) government, on the other hand, spent $37.9 billion.
So is most taxpayer-funded research wrong, too?
Read papers... I have shown you how to read EAE papers and if they have no quality control in hem, you can be have a fair guess that they will turn out to be mushroom food and non-reproducible. You will be abe to spot some stuff on the blog
It is funny that some people forget and can't even repeat their own published work so if that isn't based on quick sand I don't know what is.
Likewise it is a shame that companies don't think enough but the lemming mentality prevails and it is clear that some companies that have bought a load of turkies
Maybe it’s taxpayers, not Merck, who should get a check(Cheque) in the mail.
Light touch paper and stand back..remember don't kill the messenger