We are all now, it seems, amateur epidemiologists, trying to find a way past the contagion that’s overturned our lives. We follow the headlines: A blood test that may detect coronavirus antibodies. Potential treatments for the associated pneumonia. You might learn about breakthroughs on Twitter or Facebook, but often they first appear on what are called preprint servers. In fact, Ivan Oransky, professor of medical journalism at NYU and co-founder of Retraction Watch, says that many of the purported breakthroughs around the virus are being shared in spaces that are unfamiliar to many civilians, and mostly unvetted. Here, Oransky explains to Brooke why these preprints — which have been so essential for scientists sharing their research and data — should, as with all science publishing, be approached with some skepticism.
This is a segment from our March 27, 2020 program, Playing The Hero.