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Episode 90: Fabricated images threaten the integrity of Alzheimer’s research (with Charles Piller)

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Interviewer(s)

Art Woods, Marty Martin

Interviewee(s)

Charles Piller

Description

What happens when potential fraud is detected in research papers on major medical issues?

In this episode, we talk to Charles Piller, an investigative journalist who published a shocking story in Science magazine in July this year laying out compelling evidence for misconduct in multiple journal articles on Alzheimer’s disease. This misconduct appears to have occurred in recent papers involving the experimental drug, simulfilam, as well as older, foundational papers in Alzheimer’s research.

Charles’s story focuses on the sleuthing of Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist and physician at Vanderbilt University who studies Alzheimer’s disease himself. In an extensive (even heroic) effort, Schrag identified over 100 potentially manipulated images in multiple major research papers. We talk with Charles about the consequences of those seemingly fraudulent images for the field and for public trust in science. We also talk about the potential consequences for whistleblowers like Schrag, and what journals and funding agencies are doing to support integrity in basic research.

Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri

Date Published

10-20-2022

Language

eng

Length of Episode

1 hour, 2 minutes, 19 seconds

Digital File Format

audio/mp3

Document Type

Podcast

Episode 90: Fabricated images threaten the integrity of Alzheimer’s research (with Charles Piller)

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