Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

The Perfectly Natural Bias for a White Hat

October 15, 2018 — Never underestimate the power of rationalization. Because sounds good, very often, is good enough. Just ask folks selling “natural” foods and drinks. A good story about natural purity fetches premium prices. Also, you should look at new research on white hat bias. Even for researchers, it seems the ends can justify the means. It’s a […]

Registering a Grievance About Grievance Studies

October 5, 2018 — Who are they to judge? Overcoming anthropometry through fat bodybuilding. The journal Fat Studies published and has now retracted that hoax study. But this was not a one-off hoax. It was part of a series, concocted to make a point. Academic grievance studies are corrupting scholarship, say Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay, and Peter Boghossian. Harvard lecturer Yascha Mounk […]

What Happens When PR Overtakes Science?

September 23, 2018 — Brian Wansink has a gift for conceiving research into eating behavior that has long been “catnip for the media.” Now, after a year of contesting accusations of misconduct, he’s resigned from Cornell University. Last week, JAMA retracted six of his papers in a single day. According to Retraction Watch, that makes a total of 13 […]

Magical Time-Restricted Eating

September 19, 2018 — Time-restricted eating is a popular concept right now. So naturally it’s great clickbait. Some journals and researchers are happy to seize the opportunity to gain attention. Newly published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, we have an especially sharp example. Jonathan Johnston is grabbing sensational headlines with his study of 13 people for ten weeks. […]

Big, Bad, and Unfortunate Mistakes

September 2, 2018 — The bigs are out to get us. Really. Big food, big government, big agriculture, big medicine, big marketing, big academia, and more. We could go on, but no need. When all these bigs align, some big, bad, and unfortunate mistakes can fall out. A self-professed angry old man – George Lundberg – outlines a case study in […]

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 […]