This week: How to fix peer review, access data, rethink Alzheimer's research, and save over a million lives.
I feel like the Discovery trial is wildly underrated. The RNA vaccines got the Breakthrough prize (very deservedly), and yet although the Discovery trial saved maybe upwards of a million people, they don't seem to have won anything. Given the problems with basic science generally - e.g. everything you discuss in the peer review section, the amyloid Alzheimer's probable-fraud - maybe it's a bad idea for the scientific world to just ignore this extremely well-run RCT in favour of the fancy new thing*. Why isn't everyone screaming about how basic research - performed very well - can have almost as big an impact?
*the fancy new thing is excellent and probably deserves the Nobel too.
Great piece. The peer review inefficiencies hit close to home. The best approach I have seen so far has been with https://openreview.net/. I had a nice experience with it, but was a bit unnerving at first (this was in machine learning, where the community has more open to disrupting established models) Long term, I think this system is far more trustworthy if we combine it with Arxiv, instead of the paywall leeches that have a suck the life out of academia today. Anytime I think about peer review, I feel it can't be fixed unless we address the issue of publicly funded research benefiting private gatekeepers.
Does this mean there is now very little evidence weight for the beta amyloid mechanism? Is the recent drug approval (on very mixed data) mostly an artifact then ?