Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Piece of Advice You Shouldn't Ignore

There is a lot of poor science in the media these days -- pseudo science, in many cases -- usually from the pens of scientifically illiterate, fame-and-glory starved journalists.  And science writer David Spiegelhalter is annoyed by it.  So, he offers advice to his readers:
I once told a journalist that “the very fact that a piece of health research appears in the newspapers indicates that it is nonsense”. That may be too harsh, so I would like to suggest a slightly more refined version for dealing with science stories in the news, particularly medical ones.
Ask yourself: if the study had come up with a negative result, would I be hearing about it? If the answer is “no”, then don’t bother to read or listen to the story.
Click here to read more about the logic behind his argument.  It's interesting for sure.