Tag Archives: worst junk

Sunday Science Lesson: Identifying bullshit is usually easy (it just seldom happens in tobacco-land)

by Carl V Phillips

In the previous post, I quoted from Jon Stewart’s farewell monologue in which he alluded to how it is usually relatively easy to identify utterly bullshit claims and call them out. This includes utterly junk science. There are stories of master fraudsters in science, who carefully cook data and convince the world for years they have made game-changing discoveries, only getting caught after too much contrary evidence piles up. For some immediately detectable cases of junk science, it requires a bit of clever expert analysis to detect it. But these cases should not distract from the fact that most junk science is junk on its face. Continue reading

ISO the worst anti-tobacco junk science

by Carl V Phillips

I will resume my regular responding and debunking shortly.  In the meantime, I thought I would crowdsource the following question:  What do you think are among the worst examples of research papers or other writings making scientific claims about e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, and other tobacco products, or about consumption of those products, their effects, etc.

By “worst” I am thinking of some vague combination of especially junk science or overreaching scientific claims, along with the specific claims having some importance for future policy or current thinking (because of the content or the influence of the authors).  I am not actually restricting this to the anti side (i.e., I am also interested in junk science that is in the pro direction), though I suspect there is little of that to be found that I have not already commented on.  It can be a particular paper, a body of papers, or just a repeated claim.

Please post your nominations in the comments here, or email them to me if you prefer to avoid blog comments (my casaa.org email is cphillips).  Links are highly welcome, but anything is fine — I can track down the original.  Feel free to suggest as many as you might want, to duplicate suggestions, or whatever else you want.  You can explain why you think a suggestion is particularly bad, or just suggest it without comment.

Thanks in advance for your contributions.

UPDATE: In response to a question I received, suggestions about particular repeated “expert” claims are welcome, even if there is no particular key paper they refer to, so long as they seem to be systematically claimed and not just some one-off gaffe.  For such topics, multiple examples of the claim being repeated are highly welcome.