Considering our horrendous and growing plague of income inequality, I was surprised and disappointed that this pivotal study "was quickly rejected by the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine."

I worry that one reason is the power of Big Pharma as purchasers of ads in medical journals. It hurts Big Pharma's bottom line if physicians prescribe fewer opioids. Especially if their previous customers are dying of opioid overdoses.

There's another possible reason their paper was rejected: It was based on innovative observations. Paradoxically, scientists and peer reviewers sometimes feel more comfortable with small extensions of previous knowledge, and don't quite know what to do with truly ground-breaking research. Yes, that's the very research we most need.

Groupthink helps explain this paradox. Without realizing it, experts have a confirmation bias that reinforces what they already know, and makes it difficult for truly new ideas to get heard.

Richard Waugaman ’70
Signal Mountain, Tenn.