The Publication Bias and File Drawer Problem
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Post No.: 0188   Furrywisepuppy says:   All experimental research in science should be reported and published in academic journals to have all of their details peer-reviewed by experts – not have their results kept concealed or just reported in … Read More

Not All Sources of Evidence are Equal
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Post No.: 0174   Furrywisepuppy says:   Direct evidence and primary information sources, which include videos, photographs and eyewitness statements – are the original sources of data. Indirect evidence and secondary information sources, which include newspaper reports, forums and blogs … Read More

Reading Numbers and Statistics in Science and the Media
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Post No.: 0167   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Always read statistics carefully – read what they’re saying exactly, not what you think they’re saying. For example, don’t read too much into outliers yet don’t completely ignore them either, and don’t over-extrapolate … Read More

The World is Generally Brighter Than You May Believe
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Post No.: 0151   Furrywisepuppy says:   A media broadcaster’s goal could be to, for instance, increase readership, increase revenues and/or support a particular political party or leaning. It’ll need to constantly make subjective decisions based on its own partisan … Read More

The Laws of Large and Small Numbers
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Post No.: 0141   Furrywisepuppy says:   The law of large numbers tells us that large sample sizes of random events will more likely produce one or two extreme events compared to small sample sizes, but these extreme events could … Read More

Correlation Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Causation
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Post No.: 0134   Fluffystealthkitten says:   A randomised-controlled trial (RCT) is a type of scientific experiment that involves randomising the allocation of the participants of an experiment between two groups – a group receiving the treatment under investigation (e.g. … Read More

Being Fair Versus Seeking Balance in Media Reports
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Post No.: 0118   Furrywisepuppy says:   ‘Fairness’ and ‘balance’ in news reports are not the same things – being fair to the overall weight of empirical evidence is far more important than balancing both sides of a story. For … Read More

The Echo Chamber Effect (The Echo Chamber Effect)
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Post No.: 0103   Furrywisepuppy says:   The ‘echo chamber effect’ and ‘filter bubbles’ are troubling in this modern world of news and social media – they occur when people self-select their own circles of people and sources of information … Read More

The Urgent Need For Everyone to Learn News Literacy
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Post No.: 0094   Furrywisepuppy says:   Expanding on Post No.: 0064 – on the one hand, the Internet is fantastic because it liberates information, allowing it to be easily and freely shared (e.g. public interest news, facts, lessons), but … Read More

Press Regulation Versus Press Freedom
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Post No.: 0084   Furrywisepuppy says:   The professional press industry is generally a very good thing if it is free to investigate stories and issues of public interest and isn’t controlled by a single monopoly (be it a state … Read More

Don’t Be a Passive News Consumer
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Post No.: 0064   Furrywisepuppy says:   Don’t be a passive news consumer – actively critique everything you read, see or hear, rather than take things at face value as if the words of journalists, scientists or whoever are ‘indisputable … Read More

Summary Statistics Apply Only to The Sample Group as a Whole
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Post No.: 0052   Furrywisepuppy says:   Summary statistics (such as the mean (or the average), median (the ‘middle’ value) and mode (the most frequently occurring value)) based on a sample group – represent that sample group as a whole … Read More

This Treatment is Effective Compared to What?
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Post No.: 0044   Furrywisepuppy says:   Scientific experiments involving new products should really compare to the best existing alternative treatment if one exists (represented fairly e.g. with the correct dosages) as a control group – rather than to nothing, … Read More

Scientific Hypothesis, Fact, Theory or Law?
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Post No.: 0034   Furrywisepuppy says:   Please understand the differences between a hypothesis, fact, theory and law when talking in scientific contexts and when reading science news…   A hypothesis is the starting point of any original scientific experiment … Read More

Science is Not a Religion
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Post No.: 0017   There are many different types and different qualities of scientific research, and potentially different ways to interpret results. So whenever you read or hear that ‘science says x’ – you must still scrutinise it, question it … Read More

Anybody and Everybody Can Do Science
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Post No.: 0007   Furrywisepuppy says:   Science is not a bible of facts that become sacred, unimpeachable and solidified forever but is a process of coming up with hypotheses, devising methodologies for testing one’s hypotheses, obtaining and recording empirical … Read More

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