Shocking Studies That Prove Science Is Totally Broken
One thing we've learned, as a site that likes to publish reader-friendly science articles that link to these studies, is how much of the stuff that comes our way is, well, worthless. As it turns out, the problem is ...(click for full) goo.gl/vhQVoY
- •A Shocking Amount of Medical Research Is Complete BullshitUp to 90 percent are critically flawed in some way or another. If you're hoping this is contained to fringe, little-used research, find a new vessel for your misplaced hope. Ioannidis and his crew examined 49 of the most highly regarded medical findings in the last decade or so -- between a third and a half of them where straight-up wrong or highly exaggerated.
- •Many Scientists Still Don't Understand MathResearch into ecology and evolution show that papers are 28 percent less likely to be cited for every additional equation per page. It seems that basically everyone that isn't a physicist or engineer treats math with a policy of "run away as quickly as possible."
- •... And They Don't Understand Statistics, EitherIf you didn't know about how weak a "statistically significant" finding is, then don't worry -- neither do scientists. When they find a link between sleepiness and vitamin D, or whole fruits and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, they call it "significant" and, more times than not, end up exaggerating the hell out of their claims.
- •Scientists Have Nearly Unlimited Room to Manipulate DataIf you're trying to figure out if wolf bites have a statistical link to werewolfism, a whole lot of your results are decided before you even start. In any experiment the scientist gets to decide which things to compare (What about other animal bites?), how long to collect the data (Would you get different results six months from now?), which data to include (Are you accounting for the subjects' age? Diet? Ethnicity? Phase of the moon?)
- •The Science Community Still Won't Listen to WomenOn competence, male professors judged their penis-wielding brethren at 4.01 out of 5, and gave the ladies a score of 3.33. And no, it's not just because the people doing the hiring were male -- the female professors also scored the boys higher, 4.10 compared with 3.32 for the women. The average salary men recommended for men was $30,520. The average salary women recommended for women was $25,000.
- •It's All About the MoneySadly, the truth is that money and ambition tend to kick the crap out of objectivity at every step of the research process. To get tenure, funding, and maintain their prestigious positions, researchers are under constant pressure to publish their results in the best journals. Those journals want only important, interesting findings, which means that researchers have every motivation to find crazy cool things, regardless of how much bullshit might be required to get there.