Stagnation and herd mentality in the biomedical sciences

Cancer Biol Ther. 2004 Sep;3(9):903-10. doi: 10.4161/cbt.3.9.1082. Epub 2004 Sep 11.


Academic biomedical science is like music, painting, or other fashionable arts and politics. Concepts that are perceived to be 'in' can become widely accepted and then stagnate, remaining unchallenged for many years, independent of their scientific validity. Fads in biomedical science have been observed to last for years or decades. The reasons for herd mentality and stagnation are manifold, but their recognition allows opportunities for constructive awareness and perhaps effective countermeasures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / trends*
  • Forecasting
  • Goals*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Publishing
  • Research Support as Topic*
  • Social Conditions