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Statistical Wobble: Different Foods Linked To Different Kinds Of Stroke In Epidemiology Paper

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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

A recent paper finds that vaccine disinformation is common on social media while a few years ago I had employees watch food documentaries on Netflix and write about their impression and the results in both cases are startling for people who don't realize the extent of the problem. 

Those with conspiracy theories about the modern world can now gain a worldwide audience, using social media and free markets.
A new study shows there is a reason USA Today is the most popular newspaper in America - they won't specify "laparoscopy" when "minimally invasive surgery" gets the point across to more people.

While America leads the world in adult science literacy, that is still with under 30 percent of the population. To really reach the public, we need to use language that won't be a turn-off. Jargon may make us feel smarter, but it makes people who lack the vocabulary feel dumber, and that is a violation of smart journalism.
A U.C. Riverside environmentalist is sounding the alarm about your commute. 

Professor David Volz and colleagues hand-picked 90 commuter students who were given silicone wristbands to wear for five days. The goal was to find organophosphate esters on the wristbands, because some papers link those to harm in zebrafish and some epidemiologists will link anything to anything in humans.  They found one, TDCIPP - chlorinated tris - at higher levels and speculate that it is oozing out of car seat foam and into our bodies.

Just correlation, no testing
I got an email from an analytics group pitching an article about Valentine's Day movie results. 

It promised:

"If you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day by watching a romantic film you’ll probably end up watching Isn’t It Romantic, according to the latest" blah blah blah (which) "analyzed Google Trends data of IMDBs list of ‘100 romantic films for Valentine's Day’ to reveal which films were the most popular in February 2019.
A new paper by epidemiologists in Europe will overturn centuries of diet and health thinking; the thinking that eating too much makes people gain weight.

Instead, the new statistical correlation argues, the weight gain is due to pregnant women who used cosmetics containing parabens, which triggered epigenetic changes in the babies, who then grew up to be fat. It is yet another thing you can blame on your mother.
When it comes to the political divide in America, the key difference in science is that academia has mostly Democrats while private sector scientists are mostly Republicans. There are big tents in a two-party system so a liberal New York cop will have nothing in common with a San Francisco progressive but they will both vote Democrat and this big tent philosophy covers science as well. Republicans are considered deniers of climate change and evolution while Democrats deny vaccines and agriculture, and the rest of the tent has to endure them.