Sunday, September 24, 2017

Like Politicians, Scientists 'Spin' Their Data to Make It Sound Better

By Alex Berezow — September 17, 2017

In the late 90's, Michael J. Fox starred in a television comedy called Spin City. As its name implies, the job of Fox's character was to "spin" the truth to make his boss (the mayor of New York City) look good. We've come to expect this sort of behavior from politicians and their sycophants on cable news, but we don't expect it from scientists. Yet, a new paper published in PLoS Biology suggests that some scientists do just that.

Sensationalizing Science

The biggest purveyors of sensationalism are university press offices and the scientifically ignorant dupes in the media who eagerly reprint press releases, sometimes nearly verbatim. Environmentalists and other activists have also perfected the art of spin.  But this paper isn't about them; instead, it focuses on the research literature itself. And the authors found that scientists are not above hyping the data to make themselves look good..........To Read More....

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