Gunco Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
JunkScience.com Announces Top Ten ?Most Embarrassing Moments? of 2004
List Spotlights Dubious Achievements and Irresponsible Claims Made by Health and Environmental Scientists

WASHINGTON, D.C., (Dec. 1) -- JunkScience.com today announced its list of the Top Ten Most Embarrassing Moments in Health and Environmental Science for 2004. The list spotlights individuals and organizations that -- through exaggerated claims, bad judgment, and/or hidden agendas -- have most egregiously undermined public confidence in the scientific community?s capacity to conduct sound and unbiased research.

JunkScience.com has exposed and debunked flawed research and unfounded scientific claims since 1996. ?Many researchers and organizations sensationalize scientific claims to grab media attention,? says JunkScience.com publisher Steven Milloy, ?and, all too often, the media simply repeat such claims verbatim.? Milloy is the author of ?Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams? (Cato Institute, 2001) a guide for laypersons interested in being able to recognize distorted research -- a.k.a. junk science.

JunkScience.com?s Top Ten ?low-lights? for 2004 are:

1. In August, Harvard University researcher Dr. Walter Willett delivered an urgent warning to parents declaring soft drinks harmful to children. Upon closer inspection, however, the report by Dr. Willett?s research team suppressed some highly contradictory evidence-- including findings from their own research -- to reach this far-flung conclusion. Read more...

2. Leading up to election day, Stanford researcher and TV spokesman, Dr. Irving Weissman, preyed on the public?s trust in his credentials as he hawked the $3 billion pro-embryonic stem cell research initiative, known as Proposition 71, to California voters -- without also disclosing the fact that, as a director and major options holder in a stem cell research company, he stands to benefit substantially from the windfall of taxpayer dollars. Read more...

3. Anti-obesity crusaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who claimed in March that ?obesity kills 400,000 Americans each year,? received a long-overdue black eye when researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics attacked the oft-quoted estimate as overblown by as much as 200 percent -- revealing just how the crusaders cooked the books. Read more...

4. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment alerted the public that polar bears may be on the verge of extinction due to global warming -- even though their own data show that the current Arctic warming trend is within the expected fluctuations of the Arctic?s natural cooling/warming cycle. Despite their claims, other scientific surveys indicate that polar bear populations have actually been increasing during the current warming trend! Read more...

5. The Center for Science in the Public Interest bestowed its annual ?Integrity in Science? award to Dr. Theo Colburn, a major proponent of the 1996 health scare blaming trace levels of industrial chemicals in the environment -- so-called ?endocrine disruptors? -- for every health problem from cancer to infertility to attention deficit disorder. Where was CSPI when, in 1999, the National Academy of Science?s National Research Council announced that there was no persuasive evidence to support the endocrine disruptor scare? Read more...

6. Bypassing the more established tradition of featuring a prominent scientist or official as keynote speaker for its 2004 Annual Meeting, the American Public Health Association chose to set the tone with none other than anti-toxin babe Erin Brockovich -- and proudly featured a revealing, bustier-clad photo of Ms. Brockovich on their website promotion. Read more...

7. In February, the Journal of the American Medical Association scared the public with a widely-publicized claim that even a single day?s worth of antibiotic use is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. The study?s researchers, however, based this claim on a fatally flawed analysis that did not adequately distinguish antibiotic users from non-users. Read more...

8. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials who had halted use of chlorine disinfectant in the Washington, DC drinking water system -- due to unfounded cancer fears hyped by the Environmental Protection Agency -- replaced this proven germ-fighter with a more corrosive substitute that leached lead from the pipes and caused wide-spread public alarm as lead levels climbed above federal standards. Read more...

9. In early 2004, a panel of the National Academy of Science?s Institute of Medicine urged that the recommended daily allowance of sodium be drastically reduced by almost 40% and that the average American?s actual sodium consumption be slashed by more than 60% -- even though 10 major studies conducted since 1995 have all concluded that lower sodium diets don?t produce health benefits and may pose risks for some. Why the extreme recommendation? Political correctness run amok. Read more...

10. University of Arkansas researchers attacked the Atkins Diet in January with a report linking a high-carbohydrate diet with weight loss, saying it was possible to lose weight without cutting calories and without exercising. What they didn?t reveal, however, was that the study subjects who lost weight actually ate 400-600 calories per day less than those who didn?t lose weight. Read more at...

For more information on junk science, including daily updates, visit JunkScience.com, home of, ?All the junk that?s fit to debunk.?

CONTACT: Julia Henderson, JunkScience.com, 301-926-3197, [email protected].
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
I was reading someplace that a university got a $500,000 grant to study the effects of alcohol on sunfish.
 

·
Mystic Knight of the Sea
Joined
·
13,384 Posts
Lupeloff said:
I was reading someplace that a university got a $500,000 grant to study the effects of alcohol on sunfish.
I could have told them what would happen, and they could have given me the $500,000. :drunk:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Despite the hype of science as being pure knowledge, it's actually very culture- and politics-bound. One of the first folks to point this out was recently-deceased neo-Darwinian Stephen J. Gould, loathed by many because of his liberal politics.

A very clear example was the "crack baby" hysteria of the 80's. Remember that? Well, a lot of that was "scientific" journals reluctance to publish anything that didn't reject the null hypothesis (i.e. the scientific finding was that it's plausible that whatever you're studying doesn't have an effect), and political pressure to support the War on Drugs. To the credit of the scientific community, that finding of BS itself was published:

http://www.drugtext.org/library/articles/erike2.html


...and Chasnoff, one of the earlier proponents of the "crack baby" syndrome later published a retraction of that research, stating that his subsequent research had found that the variable that was screwing up the kids was not cocaine exposure, but instead was poverty and all the lousy stuff associated with poverty (poor nutrition, lousy housing, etc., etc., etc.).

Yet note that in the popular media there has been no such correction or retraction: Folks still think that there's a horrid epidemic of "crack babies".

In the meantime I am looking into getting Federal grant funding for a single-subject study to determine the effects of leisure, wealth, unrestricted sexual gratification, and unrestricted access to pharmaceutical-quality recreational drugs on aging hippies.
 

·
Code name: Felix
Joined
·
6,361 Posts
As long as the government provides grants to all these researchers, Junk Science will continue to flourish. I ought to tell you about some of the research my son does and what his PhD is based on.......
 

·
DADDY WARBUCKS
Joined
·
19,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
In the meantime I am looking into getting Federal grant funding for a single-subject study to determine the effects of leisure, wealth, unrestricted sexual gratification, and unrestricted access to pharmaceutical-quality recreational drugs on aging hippies.
It creates bald spots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,413 Posts
I'll do a study on the effects of owning too many assualt weapons? Give me $200,000 for buying test equipment and another $200,000 for projectiles.

I'll have my findings ready in 5-10 years if that's okay...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Custer said:
It creates bald spots.
A pox upon you and upon your unholy spawn unto the fifth generation.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top