The media absolutely gushed over the possibility that smoking leads to brain damage, highlighted in a 'study' Monday. They were so happy to not have to write about another miracle vegetable or marshmallow cannons and call it 'science' they didn't bother to really read the data, so the news coverage of the study was misleading and highlighted why we need better science journalism.
They didn't bother to note that the study was observational, they only examined "... the association between smoking history and cognitive decline in the transition from midlife to old age." Participants reported their own smoking habits spanning a period of 25 years. Self-reported data like this can be problematic because there are no controls in place. People can easily misreport how much they smoke in either direction. Additionally, as the authors themselves admit, the data "... cannot be assumed to be representative of the general population," because the participants were white-collar civil servants.
Smoking Causes Brain Damage? Why We Need Better Science Journalism by Cameron English, Policy Mic
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Family Holiday Survival: 12 Ways To Deal With That Climate Change Denier
- A Vegetarian Carnivorous Plant...Wait, What?
- Falsifiability And The Integrity Of Physics
- Wave-Particle Duality And Quantum Uncertainty - Two Sides Of The Same Mystery?
- Dr. Ozvorkian And The Amoebas
- Guest Post: Ben Allanach, On Open Access
- How Does Prostate Cancer Happen?
- "Glad someone finally is calling out this clowns. String theory is pure math, and has no testable..."
- "Michael Martinez: 1-in-6 Americans can expect to be needlessly killed by their doctors. You can't..."
- "There is no definitive proof that irrefutably confirms that humans didn't exist 400,000 years ago..."
- "As a layman, I have some faith in Einstien. The reasons are because the well established experimental..."
- "When I run into the religious Climate Change believers I just start showing them one of the dozens..."
- Air pollution linked to congenital defects
- Blocking excessive division of mitochondria reduces liver cell death in cholestasis
- The math of how decisiona 'cascade' in social networks
- iPads and other Light-emitting e-readers detrimentally shift circadian clock
- Cope with climate change by shape-shifting