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Bad science (dreaming of an evidence-based world)

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Meat and tobacco: the difference between risk and strength of evidence. New Mammogram Recommendations: A Guide. Photo Q.

New Mammogram Recommendations: A Guide

What are the new recommendations about mammograms, and how do they differ from the old ones? A. The American Cancer Society issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer have starting at age 45 and continuing once a year until 54, and then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years.

Previously, the society recommended mammograms every year starting at 40. Nothing Personal: The questionable Myers-Briggs test. I was recently reviewing some psychological lectures for my real job.

Nothing Personal: The questionable Myers-Briggs test

One of these was on personality tests. The speaker mentioned the Myers-Briggs test, explaining that, while well known (I personally know it from a Dilbert cartoon) the Myers-Briggs test isn't recognised as being scientifically valid so is largely ignored by the field of psychology. I tweeted this fact, thinking it would be of passing interest to a few people. I was unprepared for the intensity of the replies I got. The nappy science gang who took on the NHS. “I appreciate your evidence-based approach.”

The nappy science gang who took on the NHS

I said recently, in a heated discussion about washing nappies, “But while the NHS recommends using non-bio detergents on baby clothes, you aren’t likely to convince the whole country to change its view.” “Yeah,” said a colleague, “getting the NHS to change their views on anything is like trying to get a baby to sleep on demand.” “Change has to start somewhere,” replied our conversation partner. I run a citizen science project for parents who use reusable nappies. Our aim is to question received wisdom on the topic and look for actual evidence. One thing that almost everyone agrees on though is that you should wash your nappies in non-biological detergent. Who has the most retractions? Introducing the Retraction Watch leaderboard. Retraction Watch Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process Who has the most retractions?

Who has the most retractions? Introducing the Retraction Watch leaderboard

Introducing the Retraction Watch leaderboard with 25 comments. Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field. He was a graduate student who seemingly had it all: drive, a big idea and the financial backing to pay for a sprawling study to test it.

Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field

In 2012, as same-sex marriage advocates were working to build support in California, Michael LaCour, a political science researcher at the , asked a critical question: Can canvassers with a personal stake in an issue — in this case, gay men and women — actually sway voters’ opinions in a lasting way? To see the full article, subscribe here. Correction: May 28, 2015 Because of an editing error, an article on Tuesday about a paper published in the journal Science that has been called into question amid accusations that an author of the report, Michael LaCour, had misrepresented his study methods and lacked the evidence to back up his findings misstated the title of Lynn Vavreck, Mr.

LaCour’s academic adviser. He was a graduate student who seemingly had it all: drive, a big idea and the financial backing to pay for a sprawling study to test it. Study Using Gay Canvassers Erred in Methods, Not Results, Author Says. The graduate student at the center of a scandal over a newly retracted study that has shaken trust in the conduct of social science apologized for lying about aspects of the study, including who paid for it and its methodology, but he said Friday in his first interview since the scandal broke that he stands by its finding that gay canvassers can influence voters’ attitudes on .

Study Using Gay Canvassers Erred in Methods, Not Results, Author Says

The student, Michael J. LaCour, a doctoral candidate in political science at the , said the attack on his study — which was retracted Thursday by the journal Science — amounted to an academic ambush. “It’s completely unprecedented in the way it was done,” he said, referring to an account of the case posted by two colleagues last week, questioning his work.

“They never contacted me directly, there was no transparency, and as a grad student I don’t have the same protection as a professor.” Mr. Photo Mr. Three funding sources that Mr. Continue reading the main story Retracted Scientific Studies: A Growing List. LaCour Made Up His Biggest Funding Source. In the fallout of last week's unraveling of a much-touted study in Science about attitudes toward same-sex marriage, there have been some questions about the sources of funding Michael LaCour, the UCLA grad student at the center of the controversy who is accused of faking data, claimed to have received for his research.

LaCour Made Up His Biggest Funding Source

Virginia Hughes of BuzzFeed reported last week that spokespeople for three of the sources listed in the acknowledgements sections of the study — the Ford Foundation, the Williams Institute at UCLA, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr., Fund — told her that their organizations hadn't actually contributed funds to LaCour's research. As A Major Retraction Shows, We’re All Vulnerable To Faked Data. A political scientist on Tuesday said he was retracting a paper he’d co-authored — one with wide influence on how campaigns can change public opinion — when faced with evidence that the paper’s central finding was based on polling that probably never happened.

As A Major Retraction Shows, We’re All Vulnerable To Faked Data

The article, published last December in Science Magazine by UCLA graduate student Michael J. LaCour and Columbia University political scientist Donald P. Green, appeared to show that an in-person conversation with an openly gay person made voters feel much more positively about same-sex marriage, an effect that persisted and even spread to the people those voters lived with, who weren’t part of the conversation. The result of that purported effect was an affirmation of the power of human contact to overcome disagreement. By describing personal contact as a powerful political tool, the paper influenced many campaigns and activists to shift their approach to emphasize the power of the personal story. Critics: Women's Sex Pill Approval Vote Driven By PR, Not Science.

I Sat In on My Son’s Sex-Ed Class, and I Was Shocked by What I Heard - Features. Condoms fail, sex is shameful, and if a girl says "no," pursue her even harder—that's what his class is being taught.

I Sat In on My Son’s Sex-Ed Class, and I Was Shocked by What I Heard - Features

EMILY NOKES Until yesterday, I only ever found out what happened in my son’s sex-ed classes by asking him about it. That was painful enough. In elementary school, he apparently learned that HIV is hereditary because you get it from your mother. In middle school, he had to help the teacher explain something about sex anatomy when the teacher was stumped and my son happened to know the facts. Games and social media: is there any scientific evidence for digital neglect? Last week saw the widespread re-republication of a letter distributed by a group of head teachers that, unlike most letters sent home, garnered massive popular attention.

Games and social media: is there any scientific evidence for digital neglect?

What made this letter especially interesting was that it suggested those who allow their children access some of the most popular contemporary video games and social media are being neglectful parents. The letter concluded that this kind of neglect could leave young people at risk for “grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence.” Press treatment of the letter has largely focused on the legal and social implications of its threats but has not the scientific basis for its authors’ claims. Although scientific citations are missing from the letter we can take some measure of comfort that we need not start reading individual papers from a literature rife with both conflicting findings and researchers. First, this study combined data from two sources before drawing any conclusions.

Bad data PR: how the NSPCC sunk to a new low in data churnalism. One of the oldest forms of data churnalism is the dodgy poll. Typically used by holiday firms to invent the saddest day of the year, or by property websites to find the happiest places to live you can sometimes excuse journalists for playing along. It’s only a bit of fun, right? But when the dodgy poll is done with children and relates to porn and sexually explicit videos, you’d expect journalists to exercise a little scepticism. Unfortunately, when the NSPCC sent out a press release saying that one in ten 12-13 year olds are worried that they are addicted to porn and 12% have participated in sexually explicit videos, dozens of journalists appear to have simply played along – despite there being no report and little explanation of where the figures came from.

Dozens of news websites repeated the NSPCC’s claims about porn addiction in children Only Vice magazine decided to ask questions of the stats. Dodgy Election Leaflets: We’ve Fixed Those Graphs For You. We all know the phrase ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’. In an election it becomes even more appropriate, and none more so than stupid graphs on campaign leaflets. You know the type: ‘only X party can win here!’

With a very convincing bar chart showing how close two parties are. Then you look at the small print and discover the figures come from a council by-election held in 1987, or something. The troubled history of the foreskin. On a recent Saturday morning, Craig Adams stood outside the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was sunny but cold. Adams, who had turned 40 the day before, wore white sneakers and a black T-shirt over a long-sleeve shirt. A fuzz of thinning hair capped his still-youthful face. His appearance would have been unremarkable if not for the red splotch of fake blood on the crotch of his white trousers.

Vaping among teenagers. Vaping, or use of e-cigarettes, has the potential to be a huge advance in public health. It provides an alternative to smoking that allows addicted smokers to get their nicotine fix without exposing them to all the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke. This is a development that should be welcomed with open arms by everyone in the public health community, though oddly, it doesn’t seem to be.

Many in the public health community are very much against vaping. Homeopathy not effective for treating any condition, Australian report finds. Homeopathy is not effective for treating any health condition, Australia’s top body for medical research has concluded, after undertaking an extensive review of existing studies. Homeopathy and the ethics of researching magic. With the growth of integrative health at Canadian universities — a trend that has been called quackademics — it seems likely that we will see more and more clinical trials exploring the efficacy of questionable alternative therapies.

Indeed, there are currently ongoing university-based clinical trials that investigate some of the most scientifically preposterous forms of alternative medicine, such as homeopathy and Reiki. UK drew wrong conclusion from its neonicotinoids study, scientist says. A study on which the UK government bases its position that neonicotinoid pesticides do not threaten bees may actually be the first conclusive evidence that they do, according to a leading bee scientist. Astrology should never have any role to play in healthcare. University suppressed study into racism on buses and 'victimised' its co-author. The University of Queensland suppressed a study on racism on Brisbane city council buses and punished the co-author for misconduct after the council complained.

Professor Paul Frijters, whose 2013 study found drivers were less likely to let Indian or black passengers ride without paying, was forbidden from further publishing the research and demoted last year. FT Comment: Political ideas need proper testing. How can we corral data to reveal the big picture? Reading a Carl Sagan essay could allow you to find meaning in the universe … using science. The complete film - Why is science important? Claude Allègre: The Climate Imposter. Sabotage: postdoc fiddles with graduate student's cells.

The Great Beyond: Duke geneticist resigns as investigation continues. Troubled Duke geneticist Anil Potti has resigned, according to an email sent by the Director of Duke University’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Hunt Willard, and posted online by the Duke Chronicle today. Biased but Brilliant, Science Embraces Pigheadedness. Is widespread sexism making hurricanes more deadly than himmicanes? The framing of scientists « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings. Ape researcher suspended amid welfare concerns - life - 18 September 2012. Nversion therapy: she tried to make me 'pray away the gay' Stephen Jay Gould accused of fudging numbers. Bad Science. Whistle-blower claims his accusations cost him his job : Nature News. Wait, Maybe You Can't Feel the Future - Percolator. Formal investigation launched into work at dean's lab. Faking it. Misconduct in science: An array of errors.

Still Not Significant (with images, tweets) · anniebruton. A French love affair... with graphology. Psychologically Flawed. Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs. Thousands of lives put at risk by clinical trials system that is 'not fit for purpose' Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulent.

Anti-vaxx insanity: New study highlights the dangers of science denialism. Guest post by Tara Haelle: If a 12-year-old's "breakthrough" sounds too good to be true... Why I'm feeling so crabby about cancer conspiracy theories. Hard Evidence: do bikeshare schemes lead to more head injuries among cyclists? My rejection of the National Marriage Project’s “Before ‘I Do’” Pharmaceutical industry gets high on fat profits.