Most people are unaware how much public policy is either lacking in any empirical-research support or driven by bad research. Political actors motivated by ideology or donor/constituent demands propose new government practices—in areas ranging from policing to funding of treatments for gender dysphoria in youth to welfare-qualification rules—that will greatly impact people’s lives, and if anyone asks what basis they have for thinking the impact will be good, they can readily find some study to support their case. Especially when powerless populations are put at risk, neither the legislative process nor peer review in the publication process provides a real check on reckless experimentation and incompetent or corrupt research.
James G. Dwyer,
The Most Dangerous Branch of Science? Reining in Rogue Research and Reckless Experimentation in Social Services,
87 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol87/iss1/5