Posted on April 5, 2007 Comments (1)
Don’t dumb me down by Ben Goldacre:
Last month there was an interesting essay in the journal PLoS Medicine, about how most brand new research findings will turn out to be false. It predictably generated a small flurry of ecstatic pieces from humanities graduates in the media, along the lines of science is made-up, self-aggrandising, hegemony-maintaining, transient fad nonsense; and this is the perfect example of the parody hypothesis that we’ll see later. Scientists know how to read a paper. That’s what they do for a living: read papers, pick them apart, pull out what’s good and bad.
Scientists never said that tenuous small new findings were important headline news – journalists did.
Interesting read, if a bit harsh, it serves to highlight real problems. There are good sources such as: Seed, National Geographic, Knight Science Journalism Tracker, PLoS, Scienceblogs -see more in our science links directory.
Related: Cancer Deaths, Declining Trend? – Report on Use of Online Science Resources – How to Deal with False Research Findings – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. – – Another Paper Questions Scientific Paper Accuracy