“The science is settled.” Then why can’t your study be replicated?
Fake science and its insidiously misleading statistics may be a bigger problem than fake news. Public policy is too often based on phony statistics and data – so what’s going on? Author Austin Ruse joined Monday’s “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” to talk about his new book, “Fake Science: Exposing the Left's Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data.”
“I would say fake science is a much larger problem than fake news,” Ruse said, contrasting the “ephemeral” effect of the 24-hour news cycle with the long-term damage of misleading statistics we believe come from science.
Politicians use debunked statistics for talking points to support their legislation, meaning that fake science about genetically modified organisms, oil fracking and global warming influences policy. Real scientific data is necessary to help us understand how the world works, and it’s a huge problem when phony statistics become public policy and stick in people’s minds forever.
“We need science. We need credible science,” Ruse said.
One example of fake science hurting people is the controversy over golden rice, a genetically modified strain of rice carrying beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A that makes the rice yellow in color. Scientists in biotechnology specifically engineered the new strain of rice to help the millions of people in Asia and Africa who don’t get enough vitamin A in their diet, especially in childhood. But the hysteria over GMO foods has helped ensure that a life-saving nutrient doesn’t reach the market.