We are told that the warning signs “were there all along”:
It sounds absurd that an obscure US company with a hastily constructed website could have driven international health policy and brought major clinical trials to a halt within the span of a few weeks. Yet that’s what happened earlier this year, when Illinois-based Surgisphere Corporation began a publishing spree that would trigger one of the largest scientific scandals of the COVID-19 pandemic to date…
It also emerged that, for a company claiming to have created one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated patient databases, Surgisphere had little in the way of medical research to show for it. Founded by vascular surgeon Sapan Desai in 2008 and employing only a handful of people at a time, the company initially produced textbooks aimed at medical students. It later dabbled in various projects, including a short-lived medical journal, before shooting to fame this year with its high-profile publications on health outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
The provenance of Surgisphere’s database—if it even exists, which many clinicians, journal editors, and researchers have questioned—has yet to become clear.Catherine Offord, “The Surgisphere Scandal: What Went Wrong?” at The Scientist
Surgisphere matters because it’s one thing to tell folks to trust establishment science when establishment science is trustworthy. Another to tell us to trust it when it sounds like a crazy sitcom from the Sixties—except that lives are at stake.
The Lancet people are going to have to EARN back their credibility; they can’t just demand it because they represent “science.”
See also: Surgisphere Scandal Results In Change In Editorial Practices At The Lancet
At RealClearScience: Replace juries with scientists! So. In a science world where Scientific American broke with a 175-year tradition to endorse a candidate for U.S. President, we are still supposed to believe in some objective gold standard of science? Precisely what those people GAVE UP is any claim to be considered objective. Sorry. Scientists can’t just deke in and out of objectivity whenever it suits them. And they’ll sure miss it when it’s gone.