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July 27, 2015

Words to remember

From a review of Nina Teicholz's The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Donald J. McNamara in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2015:

This book should be read by every nutritional science professional as a guide to risks of hubris and the unquestioning belief in whatever the conventional wisdom of the day is and to the consequences of basing public policy on belief as opposed to evidence of positive, beneficial effects. All scientists should read it as an example of how limited science can become federal policy, which may, in in the long run, be harmful when the basic tenets of science, skepticism, and consistent questioning are set aside to appease the powerful voices convinced that we must do something (even if we do not have the proof that that something is the right something).

(Sorry, no link because the piece is behind a paywall.)

"The Perfect Scientific Crime?"

The author makes a good point. (Read the article for the supporting case.)

An almost undetectable fraud would be to conduct a real experiment, and involve other people in it, but to control data management yourself, and substitute convincing fake or edited data for the real measurements. 

Related to science's current problems: "Top 10 ways to save science from its statistical self".

July 22, 2015

"Book Review: Tom Stossel's 'Pharmaphobia'"

"Yet, despite the book's extraordinary well-documented and indisputable examples of real progress, the negative impact of the "anti-innovation"  industry—which has used every trick in the book to slow progress—becomes just as clear. By far, the most potent weapon in the arsenal of the conflict-of interest-movement is the fabrication of the myth that the process that leads to innovation is inherently dishonest and corrupt."

July 20, 2015

"New Little Ice Age May Counteract Global Warming"

Wouldn't it just be a hoot if global warming turned out to be . . . necessary?

"New, Massive Earthquake Projection Is Absolutely Horrifying"

"The projected destruction makes the San Andreas fault look mildly scary in comparison."

Related: "Could a Catastrophic Earthquake Really Destroy Seattle?" and "We didn't even know about the fault line that could soon devastate the West coast until 45 years ago"

July 18, 2015

"When science gets ugly – the story of Philipp Lenard and Albert Einstein"

Sounds like Big Al won again.

July 15, 2015

"The Weirdest Object in the Universe"

"As long as Manhattan, 100 times hotter than the Sun, 400 trillion times as dense as water, with a pull 100 trillion times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field."

UPDATE: link added.

July 13, 2015

"Who is most likely to have a child with autism? Teenage mothers, older parents and couples with large age gaps, landmark study reveals"

Almost needless to say, a lot more research is needed to confirm this interesting finding

July 10, 2015

"Why a Return Trip Feels Shorter than the Trip There"

The answer is an example of a more general theory of how fast we experience time passing.

July 01, 2015

"The Strange World of “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (Part 1)"

This has got to be a new low in "academic publishing". Indexed, for at least a little while, in PubMed, too.

In summary, this is the most extreme example of academic editorial self-publication I’ve ever seen. JRDS appears to be edited by, published by, and largely written by one man. . . .

How can JRDS ensure a proper peer review of papers when the author is also the editor and the publisher?

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