Considering his background, Dr. John Ionnidis had good reason to expect that he might become a noted and respected researcher when he first entered the field of medical research. What he did not expect was that he would become known for challenging and exposing the bad science of his peers and finding that up to 80 percent of the results from medical studies are either wrong or fraudulent.
Ioannidis was unusually well prepared to enter medical research: he had been a math prodigy of near-celebrity status in high school and both of his parents were physician-researchers. He believed he would be able to follow in his parents footsteps and use math to better support findings in a surprisingly sloppy field. “I assumed that everything we physicians did was basically right, but now I was going to help verify it,” he said. “All we’d have to do was systemically review the evidence, trust what it told us, and then everything would be perfect.”