Ivermectin for Covid-19: A Tale of Science Gone Wrong?

7:30PM Thursday 24 November 2022 Ape and Apple

This talk will be in the Ape and Apple. This isn't a permanent venue switch, unless it turns out to be amazing. It's just planned for this one event.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for a whole host of scientific triumphs but also some failures and declining reputations. One of the pandemic’s many victims is ivermectin, an antiparasitic medication that had enjoyed a stellar reputation as a ‘wonder drug’ for decades prior. As this talk will examine, during the COVID-19 pandemic, ivermectin was trumpeted as a miracle COVID-19 cure before being revealed to have little effect.

Warning signs existed from the start, however ivermectin's COVID-19 evidence base collapsed after a small band of independent scientists detected examples of scientific misconduct and fraudulent data in several key ivermectin for COVID-19 studies.

Jack Lawrence, a recent master’s graduate from St George’s, University of London, played an instrumental role in uncovering the fraud after detecting fabricated data in a key ivermectin for COVID-19 study while writing a university assignment. Following this discovery, Jack teamed up with the aforementioned group of scientific data sleuths to examine further ivermectin studies. In his talk, Jack will outline the history of ivermectin and the lessons we can draw from its rise and fall as a potential COVID-19 cure. He will also take us behind the scenes of his journey into the world of scientific fraud and how he spotted what passed the notice of many.

Jack Lawrence recently obtained a master’s degree from St George’s, University of London. His research was focused on improving pancreatic cancer treatment options. He currently works on projects to improve the transparency and availability of scientific data. In 2021 Jack discovered scientific misconduct and fraud in several influential papers purporting to show strong benefits for using ivermectin to treat COVID-19.