Following in the wake of a recent Mother Jones article which appeared to claim that leaded petrol is to blame for high levels of violent crime, Maclean’s Julia Belluz offers a set of criteria for discerning scientific claims that should be ignored. The following questions that Belluz encourages us to ask are simple, and yet powerful enough to weed out a lot of bad science:
1. Is the sample representative?
2. How would this study square in the real world?
3. Who funded the research?
4. Was the report based on an experiment or observational science?
5. How big is the study?
6. What about the other evidence?
This article helps us recognize that all scientific research is not of equal value, especially in an age driven by economic interest. As such, it’s worth making sure that the science you are reading about is science worth responding to.
Source: MacleansView This Resource