Art Woods, Marty Martin
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
Length of Episode
1 hour, 2 minutes, 19 seconds
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 090: Fabricated images threaten the integrity of Alzheimer’s research (with Charles Piller)" (2022). BigBiology Podcasts. 92.