Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

Data Thugs, Pajamas, and Ultra-Processed Food

January 30, 2021 — Nevermind. As far as we can tell, that’s the bottom line on a convoluted story about data thugs, pajamas, and a provocative study of ultra-processed food. It starts with the study by Kevin Hall et al that found ultra-processed food can cause people to eat more and gain weight. All by itself, that finding was […]

The Vital Link Between Trust, Science, and Healing

January 19, 2021 — It’s hard to miss that we’re having a crisis of trust. That’s because it’s playing out very loudly in American politics. You might have heard about the riot in Washington, DC – a horrid spectacle fueled by mistrust. But the crisis of trust reaches much further than politics. In fact, trust is essential for science […]

Retraction: A Difficult Measure of Integrity

January 13, 2021 — Mistakes can be hard to admit. We see vivid examples. Someone makes a grievous error and yet claims their actions were “totally appropriate.” Even though they’re obviously wrong. Likewise, when a journal makes a mistake by publishing a flawed paper, a retraction can be quite difficult. But that’s precisely what Scientific Reports did yesterday. The […]

A Tale of Two Retractions – It’s Complicated

December 26, 2020 — Some mistakes are hard to correct. Sometimes, it’s even hard to figure out where the mistake lies. Thus, retractions can be quite messy when a problem arises with a scientific publication. Two recent examples illustrate just how complicated retractions can become. Do Women Need Male Mentors? Back in November, a paper in Nature Communications started […]

Exercise for Weight Loss: The Lie That Won’t Die

December 12, 2020 — Sometimes an idea firmly plants itself in the popular imagination. Once there, it takes root and persists like a weed. It simply will not die. So it is with the idea that exercise is an excellent tool for weight loss. This is a lie that won’t die. A Nice Little Study Gretchen Reynolds at the […]

Serious Concerns About Multiple Vitamin D Studies

November 16, 2020 — The term of art for this is an expression of concern. It sounds very restrained, but it is quite serious. Four papers about the effects of Vitamin D in the Journal of Nutrition recently earned this dubious distinction. Add that to a paper in PLOS ONE that is getting the same sort of scrutiny. In […]

What Do We Do When Lies Are Quite Appealing?

November 15, 2020 — Perhaps you have noticed that people will believe what they want. Objective truth often seems to be a scarce commodity. Right now, arguments about misinformation and disinformation are dominating much of our political discourse. So this seems like a good time to consider that sometimes lies are quite appealing. Because we face daily decisions about […]

Eugenics: The Dark Side of Flawed Ideas About Fitness

November 2, 2020 — Lately, we’ve seen two scientific journals promoting idea that people with obesity are intellectually and morally inferior. This is not OK. Smart people come in all sizes. So do honest and dishonest people. These papers might seem innocent on the surface. But they are nothing but exercises in fishing for correlations. Humans have a history […]

Fishing for Associations, Promoting Weight Stigma

October 21, 2020 — The human impulse for bigotry is strong. Lifestyle Medicine, an open access journal, offered up a potent illustration of this yesterday. The journal published a dubious study of a weak association between a poor measure of intelligence and obesity. It’s hard to know why, but scientific merit doesn’t explain it. Nor can any excuse justify […]

Critical Thinking: Trust and Verify

October 10, 2020 — We’re having trust issues. The world is facing a pandemic, but the solutions are not obvious. Headlines are full of reasons to mistrust governments that should be leading us through this crisis. Science offers a promising beacon for some. But others are dismissive. Make no mistake about it, all over the world, people are having […]