Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

The Painful Walk Away from a Flawed Analysis

August 10, 2018 — Five months ago, we wrote about inflated claims of effectiveness from a pilot study of obesity prevention by Scherr et al. An independent group of researchers had written to the journal with concerns about the flawed analysis of the study. The flaws effectively canceled out the claims of effectiveness for the program. But Scherr et […]

Making Sense of Headlines About Obesity and Health

August 6, 2018 — Every day, our news feeds fill up with sensational headlines about obesity and health. Somewhere in those headlines, important new truths are buried. But mostly, you’ll find hype. When we all have so many things competing for our attention, how can we filter through all this noise? Here are five clues for doing just that. […]

Are All Peer Reviewed Studies Equally Trustworthy?

July 31, 2018 — The words “published in a peer reviewed journal” are sometimes considered as the gold standard in science. But any professional scientist will tell you that the fact an article has undergone peer review is a long way from an ironclad guarantee of quality. To know what science you should really trust, you need to weigh […]

Resistance to Facts Pops Up in Nutrition Research

July 30, 2018 — A popular meme tells us that we’re living in a post fact era. Consistent with that idea, Julia Shaw writes in Scientific American that she’s a scientist and she doesn’t believe in facts. But on the other side of the fence, we have folks like Daniel Engber telling us it’s a bogus story. Resistance to […]

Beware the Hazards of Moral Certitude

July 8, 2018 — Obesity, nutrition, and health bring out feelings of moral certitude with surprising frequency. But that means speculation about conspiracies, moral issues, and conflicts of interest crowds out reason and facts way too often. A Moral Issue with Dietary Advice? Reading up on debates about the relationship between carbs, insulin, and obesity, we found some harsh […]

Myth-Busting, Confusion, and Deception

June 18, 2018 — Myth-busting is a popular approach for tackling controversial or misunderstood subjects. Certainly you’ll find a bit of that here at ConscienHealth. We’re not shy about dispelling myths. But Derek Powell and colleagues conclude that myth-busting can become deceptive. If the question at hand is subtle – not starkly true or false – then myth-busting can leave readers […]

Beliefs, Facts, and Truth

June 9, 2018 — In their recent book, Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael Rich tell us that we’re suffering from truth decay. Public discourse now brings more disagreement about facts and their interpretation. They say the line separating facts from personal beliefs and opinions has become blurry. And thus, we have increasing difficulty with civil discourse and policymaking. Certainly, we […]

Is Ad Hominem Logic Creeping into Scholarly Discourse?

May 13, 2018 — Ad hominem logic seem to be ruling the day. International diplomacy features name calling between a little rocket man and a dotard. And now, people are starting to call for the dotard to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. So is it really surprising to see ad hominem logic creeping into scholarly discourse? Ad Hominem Logic […]

Evidence That Nutrition Facts Don’t Always Change Behavior

April 19, 2018 — Facts matter. Right? We like to think so. But the truth is that people act on emotion – beliefs and feelings – every bit as much as they do on facts. For a case study in how beliefs and feelings can triumph over facts, let’s take a look at a nutrition education program. Teaching Children About Gardens […]

Respecting Truth and Personal Autonomy in Obesity

April 18, 2018 — Step right up! Many people are handing out unsolicited advice about obesity and what’s best for you. This sort of advice comes from two dramatically different extremes. We hear it from ignorant, biased individuals who think that solutions are easy. But it also comes from people who say, forget it. Obesity is no big deal […]