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20 posts tagged with badscience.
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Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses, bolstered with math and graphs

The 2014 Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses, or BAHFest, is a month away. If you're not sure what is in store, you can watch the entire festival (1 hr 32 min), or jump to the winning presentation: Tomer Ullman: The Crying Game (Q&A), or why babies are so annoying and the competitive advantage crying babies likely gave to warriors from times past. "I don't want to get too much into the technical details, so let's not." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 15, 2014 - 13 comments

O, Canada...you're doing it wrong.

"Scientific discovery is not valuable unless it has commercial value" The Canadian scientific research and development agency has announced a major policy change. Going forward, they will only perform research that has "social or economic gain".
posted by bitmage on May 13, 2013 - 97 comments

Neurosciencey stuff→Loss of critical faculties

Oxford University neuroscience professor Dorothy Bishop delivers a scathing lecture (text version) about the overselling of weak neuroscience, both in the news and within the scientific literature. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 24, 2012 - 22 comments

"I hope this is all just incompetence."

The statistical error that neuroscience researchers get wrong at least half the time. Ben Goldacre of Bad Science explains this mistake, which was made in about half of 157 academic neuroscience papers in which there was an opportunity to make it. The culprit doesn't seem to be any specific journal, since the sample included five different neuroscience journals.
posted by John Cohen on Oct 14, 2011 - 71 comments

If Einstein might be wrong about relativity, how can we really trust any scientist?

In a recent Op-Ed piece on the Wall Street Journal, author, journalist, public speaker and generally inquisitive fellow Robert Bryce offered up following analogy in his discussion of climate change science: "If serious scientists can question Einstein's theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth's atmosphere. " And the internet took it from there, in the form of comics, the Twitter hashtag #WSJscience, and plenty of science-minded blogs and sites a-plenty.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 7, 2011 - 123 comments

Bad, badder, baddest?

"It seems that the majority of health claims made, in a large representative sample of UK national newspapers, are supported only by the weakest possible forms of evidence." So states the Guardian's Bad Science columnist and blogger Ben Goldacre in an article describing a study he performed with several colleagues investigating the quality of health advice given in British newspapers. The study can be found here (only the abstract is free for those who don't subscribe, unfortunately). The Guardian's science editor, James Randerson's critique of the article. Goldacre replies in the comments.
posted by jonnyseveral on Jul 5, 2011 - 34 comments

Fifteen-year-old takes on snake-oil salesman in between classes

A 15-year-old Welsh schoolboy with Crohn’s disease has taken on the peddler of a supposed “alternative remedy” which is, in fact, a dangerous industrial bleach. Despite initial criticism from others with Crohn’s, he is making considerable headway. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie on Oct 7, 2010 - 48 comments

The Far-Reaching Consequences of Bad Science

Mumps has stricken New York, in the U.S.'s largest outbreak of the disease since 2006. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Dec 20, 2009 - 46 comments

Scientists: cancer prevention causes cancer

Kill or cure: making sense of the Daily Mail’s ongoing effort to classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it. Paul Battley uses automation and crowd-sourcing in the war against bad science reporting.
posted by fatllama on Aug 31, 2009 - 27 comments

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Home taping didn’t kill music, says Ben Goldacre - but where did all the money go?
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2009 - 168 comments

The Doctor Will Sue You Now

"If you’re ever looking for a warning sign that you’re on the wrong side of an argument, suing Medecins Sans Frontieres is probably a pretty good clue." Science journalist and blogger Ben Goldacre has released the missing chapter of his book, Bad Science, telling the story of Matthias Rath, vitamins and the AIDS crisis in South Africa. [Previously. Also.]
posted by xchmp on Apr 9, 2009 - 40 comments

Bad science meets bad broadcasting

Following panic about a now-discredited study on the MMR vaccine, measles cases in the UK are on the rise. Radio host Jeni Barnett hosted a phone-in about it (transcript), defending parents' rights to choose not to vaccinate their children. Bad Science blogger Ben Goldacre had a thing or two to say about Barnett's argument. When the broadcaster of the radio show threatened legal action, bloggers of bad science responded...
posted by creeky on Feb 6, 2009 - 117 comments

Bullshit Easier To Swallow In Pill Form

Vitamin purveyor Matthias Rath^ has dropped his libel case against Ben Goldacre^ and the Guardian. Goldacre's take. [more inside]
posted by christonabike on Sep 12, 2008 - 17 comments

Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, The Musical

Quack and fugitive from justice Professor Bill Nelson, inventor of the Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, sings of his noble struggle against the evils of conventional medicine! Via Ben "Bad Science" Goldacre. [more inside]
posted by jack_mo on Aug 9, 2008 - 35 comments

Superstring Backswing

The hucksters behind the QLink Pendant claim that it "utilises Sympathetic Resonance Technology to rebalance the energetic systems of the body". Apparently, some scientists and engineers think £69.99 is a fair price for a necklace consisting of a copper coil and a zero-ohm resistor [neither of which are actually connected to anything]. The inventor claims that the QLink does not use electronics components “in a conventional electronic way” yet it "increases your capacity to function in EMF saturated environments."I guess golfers will buy anything that promises an improved score. It's the perfect accessory for my new Faraday suit.
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 11, 2007 - 41 comments

But who wants to do math? Math is hard. Scaring ignorant people is easy.

Wi-fi Routers: Silent blinking death. Via badscience.net, where it was posted in response to what sounds like a truly awful show. Electrosensitivity previously discussed here.
posted by Artw on May 25, 2007 - 52 comments

Water really is blue! Who knew?

Teaching bad science is not something only creationist wingnuts do. The redoubtable Bill Beaty sets us straight. (thanks, Laen)
posted by flabdablet on Dec 22, 2004 - 35 comments

Baddest science in the whole damn town

My fab fave UK public intellectual was somehow overlooked in the popularity contest discussed yesterday, and I was surprised that nobody had ever FPPd him here (at least, as far as the search function can determine...)
posted by Sidhedevil on Jul 2, 2004 - 4 comments

Remember the Sokal Hoax? In the mid 1990s, NYU professor Alan Sokal got a deliberately ridiculous paper in the po-mo journal Social Text, which would have embarrassed the editors if the concept of shame weren't merely a social construct. Now it seems that turnabout is fair play. In this week's Chronicle of Higher Education, there's a fascinating article about two brothers -- they apparently got their physics PhDs by spouting nonsense, and even got their tripe published in peer-reviewed journals. (The article itself requires a subscription, but here is an account by one of the players in the drama. Even though every scientific field has bad journals and these papers are in French, which consigned them to less well-known journals, it's still a major embarrassment for physics.
posted by ptermit on Nov 5, 2002 - 40 comments

Stupid Movie Physics Tricks

Stupid Movie Physics Tricks discusses bad physics in movies and even rates some movies (e.g., XP - physics not from this universe) based on their faithfulness to the laws of physics. Follow that up with bad astronomy and finish it off with bad science in general. (OK, so the last one is more about bad meteorology, but that sucks as a soundbite.)
posted by joaquim on Jun 19, 2002 - 26 comments

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