Exploring the Asymmetrical Relationship Between the Power of Finance Bias and Evidence

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 62 (1):159-187 (2019)

Authors
Jeremy Howick
Oxford University
Abstract
Power determines what counts as knowledge, what kind of interpretation attains authority as the dominant interpretation. Power procures the knowledge which supports its purposes, while it ignores or suppresses that knowledge which does not serve it.In many important cases, sociological forces, mostly financial conflicts of interest are powerful enough to upstage evidence when it comes to deciding whether interventions are safe and effective. Using three widely cited historical cases that are hailed as successes of evidence vis-à-vis finance bias, I show that in fact the powers of finance bias eventually prevailed. These cases show that, by comparison, context-free...
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DOI 10.1353/pbm.2019.0009
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