A Look at the Strategy Behind Science and Higher Ed Communication
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You can’t believe everything you read.

This becomes even more important when you’re reading about ‘groundbreaking’ scientific and medical discoveries. 

While there is a lot of excellent science writing out there, it floats among other work that isn’t so great. Some stories overstate the importance of the research. Some make incorrect assumptions based on the research. And in rare cases the reporting may be designed to mislead us. This is why it pays to be an educated consumer of science news.

Over the past couple of weeks there have been a number of excellent stories written about how we can spot bad science. The discussion was sparked by this incredible graphic by compoundchem.com.

(click to enlarge graphic)

image

Vox.com also posted a piece on this topic and added a few more warning signs:

  1. Check for peer review.
  2. Make sure the results are statistically significant.
  3. Could something else be causing the effect being reported?

What do you think? How do you spot bad science?

Additional Resources:

10 Simple Steps to Good Science Writing

Avoiding Common Mistakes In Science Writing

15 Ways to Tell if That Science News Story is Hogwash