Science and the Coronavirus: Moderna's favourable coronavirus vaccine trial results are an example of 'publication by press release'
We need to be more cautious about what we place our faith in because in the rush to share scientific progress in combating COVID-19, the trust in science and medicine is being corroded.
Recently we reported on the progress that Moderna has apparently made in its coronavirus vaccine trials.
However, former Harvard Medical School professor William Haseltine has written a piece in The Washington Post that advises us to be more cautious about what we place our faith in because in the rush to share scientific progress in combating COVID-19, the trust in science and medicine is being corroded.
"Private companies, governments and research institutes are holding news conferences to report potential breakthroughs that cannot be verified. The results are always favorable, but the full data on which the announcements are based are not immediately available for critical review. This is "publication by press release,” and it’s damaging trust in the fundamental methods of science and medicine at a time when we need it most.
The most recent example is Moderna’s claim Monday of favorable results in its vaccine trial, which it announced without revealing any of the underlying data. The announcement added billions of dollars to the value of the company, with its shares jumping almost 20 percent. Many analysts believe it contributed to a 900-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average."