How Research is Valuable, yet Flawed

How Research is Valuable, yet Flawed


Research is important in discovering significant aspects of life. However, it has many flaws. In his TEDx Talk, Ben Goldacre an epidemiologist, and scientific research describe how bad science occurs and affects results. According to Goldacre, research is an extremely valuable instrument since actual science is all about assessing another person’s evidences for their view points (Goldacre, 2006). I agree with him that research is valuable. This is because the main goal of the research is to discover true knowledge: to describe phenomena in a way that corresponds to objective facts in reality. Even though it is flawed, research is still by far the best method scientists have to discover true knowledge. It focuses on evidence, reproducible results, prediction, and the precision of theory. It stands in opposition to flawed methods like convention or conspiracy or being swayed by sentimental generalities or relativism. It is part of how people learn, and accumulate knowledge and gain certainty that their knowledge. With the best knowledge, scientists can come up with the best decisions, the best ability to predict what is to come, the best ability to efficiently use resources available to use.

However, research is significantly flawed. There is so much pressure among scientists to be first, and to produce new insights, that people may feel little motivation to spend time trying to invalidate their work. The best scientists are their own worst skeptics. They may hope their ideas are right, but they ruthlessly discard them if the evidence is pointing the other way. Flawed research has two senses: that of “poorly done” and that of “manipulative.” As Goldacre (2006) states, people need proper science with proper evidence. Doing science improperly means not testing the hypothesis well (logical flaw) or throwing out contradictory data due to laziness or bias. Having an experimental plan that once accomplished will nevertheless not address the area of inquiry.

Doing manipulative science means having a research program that conveniently handwaves over questions that challenge its basic assumptions. In a science-supportive environment, people do not judge experimenters when they make mistakes. They have additional experiments to figure out what is going on at the edges of their question to raise the confidence of what they are doing. A science-supportive environment does not lead to manipulative science.

Conducting research has many benefits. Research is a systematic way to connect resources for specific sciences. It enables researchers to find out the origin of specific information that have are viewed as facts. According to Goldacre (2006), scientists can never make critical decisions without sufficient information. To find accurate solutions there is need for a comprehensive research. Research also ensures that results are proven and effective in handling certain situations.


Goldacre, B. (2006, February 13). Battling bad science [Video]. TED Talks.


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