Bad science and bad science comm (and how to get them better)

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A major outbreak of infectious disease could sweep through the country and leave thousands dead or ill because hospitals cannot test life-saving treatments quickly enough, senior doctors have told the Guardian. Profound delays in the approvals process for clinical trials mean doctors face months of form-filling and administrative checks that make it impossible to run crucial tests in good time, said Jeremy Farrar, in his first major interview as director of the Wellcome Trust. Farrar, a world expert on infectious diseases at Oxford University, has taken over from Sir Mark Walport, who left the medical charity to become the government's chief science adviser. Thousands of lives put at risk by clinical trials system that is 'not fit for purpose' | Science | The Guardian Thousands of lives put at risk by clinical trials system that is 'not fit for purpose' | Science | The Guardian
Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk electrified the science world 10 years ago with his claim that he had created the world’s first cloned human embryos and had extracted stem cells from them. But the work was later found to be fraudulent, and Dr. Hwang was fired from his university and convicted of crimes. Despite all that, Dr. Hwang has just been awarded an American patent covering the disputed work, leaving some scientists dumbfounded and providing fodder to critics who say the Patent Office is too lax. Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulent Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulent
The worst neurobollocks infographics on the web | NeuroBollocks The worst neurobollocks infographics on the web | NeuroBollocks Regardless what you think of infographics (and personally, I think they’re largely a pustulent, suppurating boil on the bloated arse of the internet) there are some good, useful ones out there. However, these are vastly outweighed by the thousands of utterly ghastly, misleading, poorly-referenced and pointless ones. Because I’ve been on holiday for the last week, my levels of rage and misanthropy have dropped somewhat from their usual DEFCON-1-global-thermonuclear-war-the-only-winning-move-is-not-to-play levels, so I thought trying to find the absolute worst neuroscience-related infographics on the web might be a good way to top the vital bile reserves back up again. And oh boy, was I right.
Medical records rules broken, NHS admits Medical records rules broken, NHS admits 24 February 2014Last updated at 12:56 ET By Nick Triggle Health correspondent, BBC News Medical records appear to have been wrongly given to the insurance industry by the health service, the NHS admits. Details on hospital admissions from 1989 to 2010 were handed to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
The worst neurobollocks infographics on the web | NeuroBollocks
The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense. Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers. Among the works were, for example, a paper published as a proceeding from the 2013 International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering, held in Chengdu, China. Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers
The title of this post is a play on the title of the magazine "What doctors don't tell you" (a rag so packed to the brim with pseudoscience and anti-vaccine propaganda that it's practically a quack's guidebook, but that's a story for another day). As regular readers will be aware, I believe doctors generally do tell you absolutely what you need to know. Unfortunately, it seems the UK's governing body that assesses among other things, what doctors should tell you, has been resisting calls from a range of experts to inform people who have had brain injuries about a piece of information that could save their life. Nice is the acronym for the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the body that decides the guidelines British doctors should follow. Brain Injuries: what NICE doesn't tell you | Neurobonkers | Science Brain Injuries: what NICE doesn't tell you | Neurobonkers | Science
If Newspaper Headlines Were Scientifically Accurate If Newspaper Headlines Were Scientifically Accurate We wrote about this one here, but the basics are: the new research technique is interesting but doesn’t necessarily say anything about ‘hardwiring’, despite the researchers saying that in a quote in the press release, and the map-reading stereotype might not even be true. Plenty of newly discovered alien worlds get called Earth-like when really they are anything but. KOI 314c is actually somewhere between a rocky planet (like Earth) and a gas giant (like Jupiter), and blurs the previously thought clear line between the two.
Condamnée pour avoir plagié le mémoire de son étudiant LE MONDE | • Mis à jour le | Par Isabelle Rey-Lefebvre La sanction est rude : les magistrats du tribunal correctionnel de Paris ont reconnu, le 19 décembre, Christine Marchal-Sixou coupable de plagiat, plus précisément de « contrefaçon d'une œuvre de l'esprit », le mémoire en odontologie de Samer Nuwwareh, un de ses étudiants en master, à la faculté de chirurgie dentaire de Toulouse. Lire : Une affaire de plagiat secoue la faculté dentaire de Toulouse Condamnée pour avoir plagié le mémoire de son étudiant
Researchers: your guide to hitting the headlines - Health News Researchers: your guide to hitting the headlines - Health News Friday December 27 2013 This is gonna be the biggest scoop since fish grew legs! Boffins, are you having trouble communicating the fruits of your labour to a wider audience?
What a difference a day makes: How social media is transforming scientific debate (with tweets) · deevybee 2. The behaviour of the scientists doing the study is hard to understand. When they talk of hardwired differences in brains of males and females, and link their results to putative behavioural differences that fit stereotypes but which they haven't measured, they lose credibility among their scientific peers, while at the same time attracting a great deal of publicity. What a difference a day makes: How social media is transforming scientific debate (with tweets) · deevybee
Benjamin Franklin said two things are certain in life: death and taxes. Another one we could add to this list is that on any given news website and in almost all print media there will be articles about health and nutrition that are complete garbage. Some articles that run under the health and nutrition “news” heading are thought provoking, well researched and unbiased, but unfortunately not all. And to help you traverse this maze – alongside an excellent article about 20 tips for interpreting scientific claims – we will look at seven clichés of improper or misguided reporting. If you spot any of these clichés in an article, we humbly suggest that you switch to reading LOLCats, which will be more entertaining and maybe more informative too. 1. The seven deadly sins of health and science reporting
As hardy perennials go, there is little to beat that science hacks' favourite: the hard-wiring of male and female brains. For more than 30 years, I have seen a stream of tales about gender differences in brain structure under headlines that assure me that from birth men are innately more rational and better at map-reading than women, who are emotional, empathetic multi-taskers, useless at telling jokes. I am from Mars, apparently, while the ladies in my life are from Venus. Why it's time for brain science to ditch the 'Venus and Mars' cliche | Science | The Observer
Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs
William Hollingworth and his colleagues must been pleased when they were notified that their manuscript had been accepted for publication in the prestigious (Journal impact factor =18!) Journal of Clinical Oncology. Their study examined whether screening for distress increased cancer patients’ uptake of services and improved their mood. The study also examined a neglected topic: how much did screening cost and was it cost-effective? These authors presented their negative findings in a straightforward and transparent fashion: screening didn’t have a significant effect on patient mood. Patients were not particularly interested in specialized psychosocial services. Whomp! Using invited editorial commentary to neutralize negative findings | Mind the Brain
Lessons from the L'Aquila earthquake | Features Earthquake experts must communicate public risk more effectively to avoid a repetition of the Italian media fiasco that a year ago culminated in jail terms for the academics involved Source: Getty The deputy head of the Civil Protection Department encouraged the public to stop worrying and to raise a glass of wine instead During the night of 6 April 2009 an earthquake hit the city of L’Aquila, in central Italy.
Trendspotter: The brain-scan job interview | The National A few years back, it became fashionable to test yourself against the questions that candidates are asked at interview when they go for a job at Google. “How many piano tuners are there in the world?” “How many golf balls can fit into a jumbo jet?” “How would you weigh your own head?”
Trendspotter: The brain-scan job interview
Sex Makes You Rich? Why We Keep Saying “Correlation Is Not Causation” Even Though It’s Annoying | Roots of Unity
Biased but Brilliant, Science Embraces Pigheadedness
Still Not Significant | Psychologically Flawed
A French love affair... with graphology
Brain stimulation hits the mainstream – commercial tDCS device available soon for $249 | NeuroBollocks
Risks of placing scientists 'on message'
Reflections on a foray into post-publication peer review | The Hardest Science
Still Not Significant (with images, tweets) · anniebruton
“What I find offensive is not that they plagiarized us, it’s that they did it so badly” | Retraction Watch
Why We May Never Beat Stigma
Formal investigation launched into work at dean's lab
Ape researcher suspended amid welfare concerns - life - 18 September 2012
Faking it
Evgeny Morozov: The Naked And The TED
What Jonah Lehrer reveals about popular science writing » Daniel Bor | Daniel Bor
New Yorker's Jonah Lehrer quits over fake Dylan quotes
Viewpoint: The spectre of plagiarism haunting Europe
A first? Papers retracted for citation manipulation
Citation Cartel Journals Denied 2011 Impact Factor
Math paper retracted because it “contains no scientific content”
Mighty molten powder researchers publish paper in journal twice, months apart
'Chemical nonsense': Leading scientists refute Lord Monckton's attack on climate science | Environment
For shame! Nature shills for traditional Chinese medicine : Respectful Insolence
Interdira-t-on les prévisions climatiques
Is this the worst government statistic ever created?
Wait, Maybe You Can't Feel the Future - Percolator
Short Sharp Science: Controversial chronic fatigue-virus paper retracted
What eight years of writing the Bad Science column have taught me | Ben Goldacre | Comment is free
Misconduct in science: An array of errors
Research linking autism to internet use is criticised | Society | The Observer
Informed-consent forms should be shortened, simplified, Johns Hopkins bioethicists confirm
Can we trust scientists who give TED talks?
Science publishers don't care about the public : We Beasties
Bad Science
Climate change education can still be part of a slimmed-down curriculum | Environment
Stephen Jay Gould accused of fudging numbers
The complete film - Why is science important?
FT Comment: Political ideas need proper testing
Doctors will be asked to help identify people at risk of becoming terrorists -- Dyer 342 -- bmj.com
Whistle-blower claims his accusations cost him his job : Nature News
nversion therapy: she tried to make me 'pray away the gay' | World news
Children don't need Brain Gym to spot nonsense | Ben Goldacre | Comment is free
When Peer Review Falters - Room for Debate
Pop psych nonsense and the Chandlers | Science
Psychology Today apparently retracts Kanazawa piece on why black women are “rated less physically attractive”
The framing of scientists « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings
How can we corral data to reveal the big picture? | Ben Goldacre | Comment is free
The sinister threat to our language and brains | Science
Why was that paper retracted? Editor to Retraction Watch: “It’s none of your damn business”
The Great Beyond: Duke geneticist resigns as investigation continues
The Great Beyond: New intelligent design centre launches in Britain
Why I spoofed science journalism | Martin Robbins | Science
Pornography in hospitals
Plagiarism pinioned : Nature
Journalism warning labels
Journalism Warning Labels
Creationists seek to insert their own brand of 'truth' into education | Paul Sims | Science
Claude Allègre: The Climate Imposter
Vaccine-Autism Coffin Has No More Room for Nails | The Intersection
Not fit for television
In which I continue to whine about crappy science journalism blogging | White Coat Underground
This is a news website article about a scientific finding | Martin Robbins | Science
Sabotage: postdoc fiddles with graduate student's cells
The shroud of retraction: Virology Journal withdraws paper about whether Christ cured a woman with flu
When did announcing science become the same as publishing science? | Prof-Like Substance
Nobelist Linda Buck retracts two studies on olfactory networks — and the news is embargoed
Paper retractions do not induce citation mutations | Gobbledygook
Faked data, unsubstantiated claims, and spirituality add up to a math journal retraction