I have been a college professor in the field of Natural Sciences for the past twenty years. I used to be a big believer in the sanctity of scientific processes and the inherent methodology of the scientific method. I thought if you followed all the processes, created a null hypothesis, collected and analyzed all the data, you would be able to generate an easily replicated conclusion to gain information, inform decisions and voila… you have concrete scientific evidence.
I still believe this is true.
If you follow the processes, collect and analyze all the data, you can draw meaningful and functional conclusions about the natural world. Science is beautiful in its pure, uncorrupted state.
But unfortunately, uncorrupted and pure science is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
As a writer and nutritionist for Nutrition with Judy I know I have to cite scientific studies for my material to be considered valid.
And I do.
However, well-conducted, unbiased studies are becoming more challenging to locate. A significant amount of doubt has crept into my consciousness when reading and evaluating peer-reviewed studies, which are still considered the gold standard in science.
Tier One academic research institutions are becoming increasingly captured by industry. This means that we have corporate funders funding scientific research at academic institutions and desiring specific research outcomes.
There is ample evidence that the source of funding does predict the outcomes of the studies. For example, it was reported in a journal that “in no case was a therapeutic agent manufactured by the sponsoring company found to be inferior to an alternative product manufactured by another company.”
The study found that when a pharmaceutical company provides funding for a study, odds are the outcomes are more likely to favor the therapy being studied.
Additionally, the scientists who carry out the research themselves are only doing one piece of the entire scientific process.
It used to be that to attain a PhD in the natural sciences, a candidate had to design and implement a scientific research study from start to finish and then defend it…