<quoted text>I like this summary, which indicates that science isn't driving the train:
How Big Business and the Medical Establishment Are Corrupting the Fight Against AIDS
Good Intentions is a tale of vaulting ambition, greed, and hubris set against the tragic backdrop of AIDS.
Bruce Nussbaum takes us behind the scenes to reveal how America's top scientists are at the center of a triangle of power. He shows how the National Institute of Health allied with the drug company Burroughs Wellcome, secretly helped by the FDA, to steamroll a thirty-year-old drug, AZT, into becoming the only approved treatment for AIDS.
An old-boy network of powerful medical researchers dominates in every disease field, from AIDS to Alzheimer's, Nussbaum reports. They control the major committees, they run the most important trials. They are accountable to no one. Despite the billions of taxpayers' dollars that go to them every year, there is no public oversight. Medical scientists have convinced society that only they can police themselves.
Business Week senior writer Bruce Nussbaum follows the money trial from the billions appropriated by Congress through a network of government laboratories and into the profit statements of Burroughs Wellcome. This is an inside look at how politics, science, and big business are bungling the fight against AIDS.
(The Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1990)
Wow. 1990. I remember 1990..... vaguely.
The problem is that the real world of science is like a ship moving through the ocean. Just being a little off course becomes a bigger issue and more glaring with each passing day. When wrong assumptions are in the mix then the ship of science gets off course. After awhile things start to break down. Science tries to fix it, but it won't stay fixed. Eventually someone says the obvious (at the right time), position is measured and a course correction is made.
You can see the progress of science in the ever shorter time it takes to figure out that science is off course and that a correction needs to be made. This used to take hundreds of years, but by 1900 hundred that had been cut to decades. MichelsonMorley (1887) sounded the alarm that science was off course and Einstein rectified it a couple of decades later.
By 2000 that was down to years, on average.
By 2005 we actually saw a scientific hypothesis (genetic entropy) refuted weeks BEFORE the official release of the "supporting" book.