In Alzheimer’s — as in coronavirus and global warming — the science is far from settled.
An international cabal of scientists who believe in their own righteousness. Scientific journals, conferences, and grants that suppress dissent. Tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer, Big Pharma and venture capital money. Decades of research — and precious little to show for it all.
I’m not describing Covid, global warming, or any other highly politicized scientific debate. I’m talking about Alzheimer’s research. The implications for the rest of science, policy, and education, however, are deep and troubling.
Everyone in the United States knows about Alzheimer’s. Audiences across the country have read (or at least seen) “The Notebook.” More recently, “The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins, won two Academy Awards and made basically everyone cry.
The reason so many of us cried is that so many know someone who’s suffered from this disease. We know what it is, we know what it does — and we know it’s terrible.
All that is to say we care about Alzheimer’s like we care about cancer, heart disease, and others that have touched us personally. Did you know, however, that despite being officially diagnosed over a century ago; despite all the grants, institutes, and money poured into it; and despite Americans’ personal interest in solving it, we haven’t discovered a single cure?
Zero. We don’t even have any treatments, really.