Posts Tagged ‘scientific integrity’

Changing Our Minds About Nutrition and Obesity

August 2, 2021 — We see a lot of stubborn opinions about nutrition and obesity research. People dig intellectual trenches and defend their positions about sugar, salt, and fat. Suppositions turn into convictions. Data becomes a tool for proving a point. Or inconvenient data leads a professor say we have to stomp it out. It’s depressing, really, if we […]

Academic Bullying Doesn’t Belong in Public Health

July 17, 2021 — Back in 2005, new obesity research from CDC produced an unexpected finding. JAMA, a first-rate journal, carefully peer-reviewed and published it. But Harvard’s Walter Willett didn’t like what the data showed. So he mounted an offensive to discredit the researcher and her work. We would call this academic bullying. He called it necessary because his […]

Oops: Published But Not Registered or Randomized

June 23, 2021 — Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes, said Oscar Wilde. So our latest “experience”  comes from the Obesity journal, where an unusual correction appeared yesterday. An article published in the journal precisely three months ago posted results for treating obesity that seemed too good to be true. But the paper said this study […]

An Inconvenient Finding? “We Have to Stomp It Out”

June 21, 2021 — Are people with overweight, but not obesity, more or less likely to die early than people with a lower BMI? When researchers at CDC and NCI published an answer to this question in 2005, it created quite a stir. The surprising finding was that folks in the range of overweight were not more likely to […]

Magical Measures from BMJ to Prevent COVID-19

April 22, 2021 — Call us quaint. But we believe medical journals should publish research grounded in facts and evidence. Not speculation. Especially in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than three million people around the world. BMJ, though, has a different approach. This week the BMJ group has a paper promoting magical […]

Eat More Chocolate, Lose More Fat?

April 18, 2021 — Penn State earns an award this week for Most Fanciful Research Press Release. It was all about how chocolate might help with the health effects of excess fat. Of course, it was based on a study in mice. But the press release tells us that this research is relevant for humans because the dose used […]

An Odd Case Shows the Need to Register a Protocol

April 7, 2021 — As Alice discovered in Wonderland, it helps to have a plan. For clinical research it’s especially important to know where one is going with research. This is precisely why medical journals require that clinical researchers register a protocol for their studies before they start. If a study lacks that, a reputable journal will not publish […]

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 […]