Another clinical science discussion that is worth highlighting refers to the use of statins (link
). There is no doubt that statins are extremely used in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Evidence behind statins is deemed to be rock-solid and these agents have been used in tens of millions of patients worldwide for many years.
What does it take to raise questions about the use of statins today? And what kind of response one would expect to receive? A battle between the British Medical Journal and The Lancet has been triggered by a publication on statins’ side-effects. While the experts are discussing and will eventually come to a consensus agreement, it is interesting to note that, in preclinical sciences, such open discussion are not too common. It is often said that providing a direct and honest feedback on a peer’s work can be harmful because of the peer’s potential role of reviewer of your next grant application or a manuscript.
Yet, one needs to acknowledge that self-correcting nature of science (link) requires such feedback. Thus, careful analysis of what makes clinical science different may be essential to identify the obstacles to create an open science culture.