We all rely on biomedical research for new treatments and cures. But this critical enterprise is not in the best of health itself. Most experimental treatments fail. One reason is that the underlying research does not hold up to scrutiny. Scientists find that far too often that they are unable to repeat experiments that other researchers have carried out. Rigor Mortis takes a hard look at these problems. It explores the scope (some say half of all published findings are false). It looks at causes, including the brutal competition for funding which drives scientists to do what’s best for their careers rather than what’s best for science. Last but not least, it explores solutions.
Richard Harris is a distinguished science writer who has been reporting on NPR’s flagship news programs for more than 30 years.
Kirkus Reviewssays: “The author’s easy-reading but hard-hitting exposé of a dysfunctional biomedical research system will inform and alarm general readers, and it is sure to stir controversy and arouse ire among those who feel their ox is being gored.”
Naturesays: “Harris makes a strong case that the biomedical research culture is seriously in need of repair.”
Ars Technica says: “New book explains everything that’s going wrong, why it matters, and what to do.”