Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

Spinning for a Noble Purpose Defeats the Purpose

July 10, 2017 — “We know what to do to reduce obesity,” says public health professor Simon Chapman. It’s a common sentiment. But data don’t always line up with that sentiment. When that happens, spinning the data – putting negative results in a positive light – becomes tempting. The PR team at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health provides […]

Publishing Science: Impressive Profits from Intellectual Property

June 27, 2017 — Think of an industry reaping boundless profits from intellectual property. In the midst of constant change, a few strong competitors defy the odds and continue to dominate. You might be thinking of software or pharmaceuticals. But in fact, these words describe the business of publishing science. Perhaps you’ve noticed that things are a little pricey […]

David Allison Appointed to Lead the IU School of Public Health

June 19, 2017 — A leading voice for scientific rigor in public health, nutrition, and obesity research will soon lead the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington. David Allison becomes dean of the school on August 15. A Passion for Science People who know Allison cannot miss his passion for scientific rigor and integrity. He explained to […]

Waging War for Better Health?

June 4, 2017 — A new commentary by Dean Schillinger and James Kahn warns us. We should be “mobilizing for a war on the home front against sugar-related morbidity and mortality.” But do we really need this battle for better health? Winding Down the War on Fat One battle we didn’t need, apparently, was the war on fat. The world mobilized […]

Try Not to Have a Stroke About Sweeteners

April 21, 2017 — “That stuff can’t be good for you.” Diet soda is a fizzy elixir that people love to hate. And so this week, we have yet another round of studies and pseudo-scientific PR pitching “links” as evidence of cause and effect. The scare theme this week is artificial sweeteners will give you a stroke. The Study […]

Magic Technology Cures for Diabetes and Obesity

April 18, 2017 — When people are desperate, magical thinking abounds. Even at the New York Times. Right now, you can read about how Silicon Valley technology is going to “tackle weight loss and diabetes with video chats.” With the help of mock apple cobbler and veggie omelets, an accountant and her husband have lost 120 pounds and avoided taking insulin. […]

Biostatisticians Are Frustrating When Data Are Weak

April 2, 2017 — Biostatisticians can be very helpful when they save someone from an embarrassing mistake. They can be frustrating when a person has already made the mistake. The frustration scenario comes out loud and clear in a case that Retraction Watch investigated this week. Claiming Efficacy Without Proving It Back in February, ConscienHealth reported on the mysterious […]

Confessing to the Truth of Complexity in Obesity Policy

March 17, 2017 — Complexity makes lousy sound bites. That basic fact of political life makes good health policy for obesity maddeningly difficult. We start with the fact that obesity is a complex, chronic disease. And then that complexity is multiplied by a complex environment. Health policies to reduce obesity must influence that environment. To make good policy for obesity, confessing to […]

A Sticky Mess of Mindless Media-Savvy Research

March 4, 2017 — It started with a blog post. Brian Wansink wrote an entry for his blog and called it “The Grad Student Who Never Said No.” It quickly turned into a sticky mess. The essay described an unpaid grad student from Turkey with energy and enthusiasm for exploring data in Wansink’s lab. Wansink is famous for clever research […]

Maybe Sitting Isn’t Really the New Smoking

March 2, 2017 — The idea that sitting is the new smoking has taken off. This compelling narrative – that your desk chair is killing you – is so titillating that you’ll find 33 million results on Google. We have an ample supply of infographics, books, TED Talks, and more. Just one tiny problem is cropping up: hyperbole. Reviewing the Evidence […]