Pandemics bring “click-bait” & “fake-news” to science

So have you been as confused as me as to why the US rejected the COVID tests that Germany and others were willing to send to us in February? Turns out there was one research paper that claimed that those tests were not accurate enough to be useful. Based on that we rejected the tests but then also failed at building our own in time. Then that research paper was withdrawn due to validity issues. But in just a month that policy decision has cost us dearly.

Science is great, but how it’s practiced is not so great. A pandemic spotlights these weaknesses.

We already had a huge problem where a lot of studies can’t be reproduced and verified. A pandemic only makes it worse.

We already had a problem where research cites other research which has actually already been debunked/retracted. A pandemic only amplifies that.

Think of click-bait and fake news. And now imagine our scientists doing that with research! It sounds far fetched but that’s what starts to happen in the urgency and panic we find ourselves in. Now imagine what foreign actors can do to willfully subvert the scientific discipline in a situation like this.

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