From: Jack Reidy <jreidy2**At_Symbol_Here**STANFORD.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Debunking Bad COVID-19 Research
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2020 18:02:58 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: BL0PR02MB56844B9D028583975C30AE748C6F0**At_Symbol_Here**

I'd be very interested to see the evidence and reasoning that speak counter to Rob's sources, as my current understanding is that it's accurate.




Jack Reidy (he/him)

Research Safety Specialist, Assistant Chemical Hygiene Officer

Environmental Health & Safety

Stanford University

484 Oak Road, Stanford, CA, 94305

Tel: (650) 497-7614




From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> On Behalf Of Varricchio
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:26 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Debunking Bad COVID-19 Research


I'll simply  say this Is grossly exaggerated.

Frederick varricchio MD, PhD 

Lord Frederick of Glencoe and Lochaber

On Jun 30, 2020, at 11:09 AM, ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:


Good science is reproducible. However, it's an open secret that a significant amount of biomedical (and other) research is not.  Here are a couple slides from a lecture called Paradigms and Pseudoscience I do in my Nobel Prize course.  Keep in mind this is discussing high-impact papers that passed peer review in some of the highest impact journals out there


Slide 1 - Good Science is Reproducible


              • 2012, Nature - Amgen scientists look at 53 landmark cancer studies.  Confirmed only 6 (11%). 

              • 2011 - Bayer Scientists found only 25% of published preclinical studies could be validated.

              • These papers spawned hundreds of other secondary studies that did not seek to confirm or falsify the original work.

              • Secondary research included clinical studies.  Wow.

              • Reproducible studies- "authors had paid close attention to controls, reagents, investigator bias and describing the complete data set."

              • Others - plagued by lack of double blind control studies, presentation of a single result or data point, supplying data that supports their hypothesis but discarding data that does not!



Slide 2 - This is Widespread


              • NIH official comments 75% of published biomedical findings would be hard to reproduce.

              • Smaller studies more prone to false conclusions.

              • Nobody gets a publication/credit for reproducing work.

              • "Publish or perish" makes people push out work prematurely.

              • Reviewers seldom look at supplemental material and (in chemistry) do not reproduce the experiments.



"Unreliable Research: Trouble At The Lab", The Economist, 2013, Oct 19th 2013 


Slide 3 - The Math (using figures from the above…see graphic titled "Unlikely results")


              • Assume 1,000 hypotheses, of which 100 are true.

              • Assume false negatives will result in 80% (80) of them being found.

              • Of 900 false hypotheses, 5% (45) will be false positives for various reasons.

              • This makes 125 positive results, so (45/125) = 36% of the results are bogus!

              • Negative results are 97% trustworthy.

                             • But no journals are interested in negative results!


Key poins - you don't get tenure, you don't get grants, and your company doesn't make money for replicating someone else's research. And this leads to a dangerous cascade of research and effort based on unconfirmed results.


Ask me about peer review next….


Rob Toreki




Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names

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On Jun 30, 2020, at 10:46 AM, Ralph Stuart <ralph**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:


It will be interesting to see if this approach of peer review after publication becomes a trend in the scientific publishing world as in person meetings become less common and preprints rise in prominence in all fields...


- Ralph

Begin forwarded message:


From: Robert C Michaelson <rmichael**At_Symbol_Here**>

Subject: [CHMINF-L] Debunking Bad COVID-19 Research

Date: June 29, 2020 at 4:15:33 PM GMT-4


From today's Inside Higher Ed


"MIT Press and the Berkeley School of Public Health are launching a new COVID-19 journal, one that will peer review preprint articles getting a lot of attention -- elevating the good research and debunking the bad.

The Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 journal will be led by Bertozzi, who will serve as the first editor in chief. Unlike a traditional journal, authors will not submit their work for review. Instead, the Rapid Reviews team will select and review already-published preprint articles -- a publishing model known as an overlay journal."


In addition to it being an overlay journal, "Bertozzi hopes that by encouraging reviewers to attach their names to publicly published reviews, transparency and accountability will promote thoughtfulness and care. Bertozzi hopes that each preprint article selected for review will be reviewed by at least two experts in the field. The reviews will themselves be reviewed to ensure they meet certain quality benchmarks, Bertozzi said."


Bob Michaelson

retired librarian


Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO


American Chemical Society Committee on Chemical Safety





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