Sharing information is easier than ever, but scientific research remains maddeningly walled-off in publications charging high subscription fees. Some prominent funders, like Gates, are working to change this.
In 2005, epidemiologist John Ioannidis shook up the scientific community, calling out a crisis of statistical weakness in research with his paper, “Why most published research findings are false.” Thanks to funding from Laura and John Arnold, Ioannidis is now rounding up something like The Untouchables of research, a team out of Stanford devoted to cleaning up this credibility problem.
Everyone has a theory, but thousands of studies later, we seem to have few good solutions to the fact that America’s obesity rates have tripled since the 1960s. As part of its Research Integrity program, one foundation hopes a surge in private funding will get to the bottom of this maddeningly confusing problem.