Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Peter Attia Drive

Jan 4, 2021

John Ioannidis is a physician, scientist, writer, and a Stanford University professor who studies scientific research itself, a process known as meta-research. In this episode, John discusses his staggering finding that the majority of published research is actually incorrect. Using nutritional epidemiology as the poster child for irreproducible findings, John describes at length the factors that play into these false positive results and offers numerous insights into how science can course correct. 
We discuss:
  • John’s background, and the synergy of mathematics, science, and medicine (2:40);
  • Why most published research findings are false (10:00);
  • The bending of data to reach ‘statistical significance,’ and the how bias impacts results (19:30);
  • The problem of power: How over- and under-powered studies lead to false positives (26:00);
  • Contrasting nutritional epidemiology with genetics research (31:00);
  • How to improve nutritional epidemiology and get more answers on efficacy (38:45);
  • How pre-existing beliefs impact science (52:30);
  • The antidote to questionable research practices infected with bias and bad incentive structures (1:03:45);
  • The different roles of public, private, and philanthropic sectors in funding high-risk research that asks the important questions (1:12:00);
  • Case studies demonstrating the challenge of epidemiology and how even the best studies can have major flaws (1:21:30);
  • Results of John’s study looking at the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting vitriol revealing the challenge of doing science in a hyper-politicized environment (1:31:00);
  • John’s excitement about the future (1:47:45); and
  • More.

Learn more:

Show notes page for this episode: 

Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content:

Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter:

Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.