Battling Bad Science

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jimmylegs
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Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:35 am

a fun quarter hour for your next break:

Battling Bad Science - TEDGlobal 2011


"Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry."

-Ben Goldacre unpicks dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, dubious government reports, pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:06 am

TEDx tries to stamp out bad science in its own ranks (2012)
https://www.theverge.com/2012/12/10/375 ... immer-tedx

TED is cracking down on pseudoscience in its franchise program, but it may be too little, too late

...

How that will take place remains to be seen. TED has pulled talks before, including a notorious "Vortex Mathematics" lecture, but the approach has been akin to a lightly moderated comments section, with most offenders flying under the radar. According to Lara Stein, Director of TEDx, the organization prefers to avoid blanket policy statements on content. "In the past we have handled most of these issues as one-offs," Stein told The Verge. "Thanks to this discussion, we decided to take on the 'bad science' issue directly." In other words, critics had finally raised enough of a stink that the issue had to be resolved in public. The letter singles out GMOs, food-as-medicine and unorthodox autism research as "red flag topics" — the latter because of "the sad history of hoaxes with deadly consequences" — but otherwise left the issue to organizers' good judgment. As Stein put it, "This is not TED telling TEDx what science is."

...

When we showed Zimmer TED's latest letter, he was surprisingly optimistic. "It's worth fixing," he said of the TED system, for the good it does promoting public science awareness. (Zimmer himself has spoken at the TED Youth conference.) But then he pointed us to a TED talk from last month about massage-based brain therapy, a counter-example to everything the letter hopes to achieve, turned up in a few minutes on Google. "It would be great if TEDx were to take it down. And it would be even better if we never see that sort of talk on TEDx again. Will that happen? I can't predict the answer, but I hope so."
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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jimmylegs
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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:13 am

A letter to the TEDx community on TEDx and bad science (2012)


Hello TEDx Community,

In light of a few suspect talks that have come out of the TEDx movement – some of which we at TED have taken action to remove, some being examined now – and this recent thread on Reddit [ we feel it is important to reach out to all TEDx organizers on the topic of bad science and pseudoscience.

...

2. Red flag topics

These are not “banned” topics by any means – but they are topics that tend to attract pseudo-scientists. If your speaker proposes a topic like this, use extra scrutiny. An expanding, depressing list follows:

Food science, including:

GMO food and anti-GMO foodists (EDIT 10/3/13: “Foodist” was the wrong word here and we recognize it was offensive to many.)
Food as medicine, especially to treat a specific condition: Autism and ADHD, especially causes of and cures for autism
Because of the sad history of hoaxes with deadly consequences in the field of autism research, really look into the background of any autism-related talk. If you hear anything that sounds remotely like, “Vaccines are related to autism,” – RUN AWAY. Another non-legitimate argument: “We don’t know what works, so we have to try everything.” Pretty much all the time, this argument is designed to cause guilt in suffering parents so they’ll spend money on unproven treatments. ..."
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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jimmylegs
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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:21 am

Food as Medicine | Michael Greger, M.D. | TEDxSedona (2018)


"According to the Global Burden of Disease study (the largest study of disease risk factors in history; funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) the #1 cause of both death and disability in the United States is our diet. Cigarettes now only kill about a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet appears to kill hundreds of thousands more. The good news is that means we have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity. Healthy eating has the potential to not only prevent, but reverse some of our leading causes of death including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Why, then, is nutrition not the #1 thing taught in medical school? American physician, author, and speaker on public health issues, particularly the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet and the harms of eating animal products. He is a vegan and the creator of NutritionFacts.org. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx"

hmm. taken to extremes, especially the whole food aspect, that's exactly how i ended up with ms, good times. not sure TED's filtering efforts are panning out...
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:09 am

Why Are So Few Nursing Science Papers Retracted?
fft http://naepub.com/ethical-issues/2018-2-3-2/

Excerpt:

"Retraction is an important part of the scientific method. In nursing, this system of self-correction is not working as it should and we need to fix it. These are my five suggestions about how we might do that:

-Nurses—both clinical and academic—need to better understand their responsibility in correcting the scientific record if they spot error or misconduct.
-We need to provide training to peer reviewers (particularly around research integrity), the Publons Academy is an excellent initiative that supports this (Watson, 2018).
-Reviewers need to be rewarded for their contribution. I have long thought that contribution to peer review should be a key performance indicator for all academic nurses.
-Authors should make data publicly available so that observations can be checked and verified.
-Journal editors and publishers need to have a relentless focus on ensuring the integrity of the work they publish."
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by NHE » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:15 pm

jimmylegs wrote:-Authors should make data publicly available so that observations can be checked and verified.
In my experience, few, if any, researchers will make their raw data publicly available. The risk of having your data stolen is just too great.

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:32 pm

i thought the same thing exactly
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by Thomas » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:16 am

Thanks for the Greger link Jimmy. Really cool stuff!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:33 am

greger's work is posted here as an example of the bad science TED is meant to be trying to filter out. 'food as medicine' is emphasized as a red flag topic when screening TED talk content, so i was surprised to see a vid with just that title posted in 2018.

the way greger carried himself in the video came across as unprofessional, so i looked into him further.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ho ... die-review

https://www.thatnerdysciencegirl.com/20 ... tionfacts/

https://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/bo ... ot-to-die/
excerpt:
Impartiality: 2/5
Context and completeness: 3/5

https://www.humanewatch.org/hsus_doc_ex ... s_schlock/
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

Thomas
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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by Thomas » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:04 am

OMG I'm so sorry!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:40 am

no need whatsoever! i can see how folks would assume i would be in favour of such a video's content. so, a clarification was obviously in order :)
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:42 am

Poor-quality, predatory conferences prey on academics (2018)
https://www.universityaffairs.ca

Many publishers of deceptive or poor-quality academic journals have created a big sideline business organizing equally questionable academic conferences. Yet some professors don’t seem to be getting the message to stay away.

McGill University professor Eduardo Franco discovered last year, to his dismay, that OMICS International, one of these publishers, listed 220 McGill professors whom the company claimed had served as “editors, contributors and speakers” for OMICS journals and conferences. Dr. Franco, who is the James McGill Professor in the departments of oncology, and epidemiology and biostatistics, said OMICS organizes some 3,000 conferences of questionable quality and publishes about 700 journals, many of which are considered “predatory” – a term first coined by librarian Jeffrey Beall at the University of Colorado Denver. Mr. Beall had created a much-used online list of bogus journals which he claims he had to take down last year due to harassment from predatory publishers.

Most of the 220 McGill professors listed on the OMICS site likely had nothing to do with the company and didn’t know that the company was using their names in this way, said Dr. Franco. Still, he was concerned.

“It was getting out of hand,” he said. “Some of our junior faculty and respected senior professors attended these conferences because they thought they were bona fide, but once they got there, they realized how small and Mickey Mouse they were.” ...
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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Re: Battling Bad Science

Post by jimmylegs » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:47 am

Naturopath Sues Whistleblower for Denouncing Quack Treatments (2018)
A naturopath who believes that baking soda cures cancer is suing a whistleblower in an attempt to keep her silenced.
https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/quack ... treatments

a good little read. rings many bells, given the recent experience with one such charlatan (actually make that two, now).
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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