The scandalous failure of scientists to cumulate scientifically
Editor, The James Lind Library - United Kingdom
New research should not be designed or implemented without first assessing systematically what is known from existing research. The failure to conduct that assessment represents a lack of scientific self-discipline which results in an inexcusable waste of public resources. In applied fields like health care, failure to prepare scientifically defensible reviews of relevant animal and human data results not only in wasted resources but also in unnecessary suffering and premature death. All new research - whether basic or applied - should be designed in the light of scientifically defensible syntheses of existing research evidence, and reported setting the new research in the light of the totality of the available evidence, thus making clearer to readers what contribution – if any - new studies have made to knowledge.