Why a Lot of Important Research Is Not Being Done - The New York Times
I often complain about a lack of solid evidence on guns’ relationship to public health. There’s a reason for that deficiency. In the 1990s, when health services researchers produced work on the dangers posed by firearms, those who disagreed with the results tried to have the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control shut down. They failed, but getting such work funded became nearly impossible after that.
I have also discussed the too-slowly changing approach to back pain. There’s a reason for that, too. When research was published, also in the early 1990s, arguing that the proper treatment of back pain was nonsurgical, some with a financial interest in surgical intervention tried to have the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now known as A.H.R.Q.) defunded. They failed, too, but left researchers skittish about focusing on this topic.
The area I complain about most, though, concerns nutrition, including supplements. That domain allows us to focus on another type of intimidation: lawsuits.