Spotting Bad Science and Scholarship

Spotting Bad Science and Scholarship May 19, 2014

I became aware of this infographic a while back, and wanted to comment on it, both in relation to science and also in terms of how it relates to other fields.


Some of the details are relevant only to the natural sciences – there is no way to double blind test a historical reconstruction. But some things seem to me to be problems with media reporting about science, rather than “bad science,” and precisely the same sorts of issues come up in reporting of other scholarly fields.

Information literacy is a concern in other fields besides the natural sciences. Someone on the blog drew my attention to an instance of Bill Maher appealing to Google, with no recognition that wiser searching on Google for more reliable sources would contradict his assumptions.


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  • David Evans

    Many of these are not even relevant to all of the natural sciences. When Michelson and Morley showed that the Earth’s orbital motion did not affect the speed of light, of what relevance were the ideas of sample size, blind testing or a control group?