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Professors crowdsourcing scrutiny of research papers and retractions on Twitter.

Discussion in 'General Advocacy Discussions' started by Clara, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Clara

    Clara Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ideas for PACE...

    An article about a retracted research paper in nutrition science and an interesting bit about a professor of epidemiology at Emory using Twitter to crowdsource researchers' scrutiny of the republished paper.

    This Mediterranean diet study was hugely impactful. The science just fell apart.

    "On her Twitter feed, she’s now pointing out flaws in the retooled report and asking others to help her do the same."
     
    rvallee, Sly Saint, EzzieD and 9 others like this.
  2. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    [my bold]
     
    rvallee, andypants and Clara like this.
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Really good reporting of the problems with this paper. As someone who has to read through the myriad of poorly reported and misleading papers and journalistic sound bites about nutrition every day for work, it’s nice to see something so direct and honest. There is so much garbage out there.

    I couldn’t resist quoting the summing up which is well put and encapsulates the problem with scientific reporting in food generally

    “Layered on top of the difficulties with studying nutrition is the fact that people have very strong feelings about food — from scientists to study authors to the media — and these feelings bias the research and how it’s interpreted. Food is cultural, it’s social, it’s about our family histories and where we grew up, and it’s something we all have experience with, Allison noted. It’s no wonder “people become zealots” when they talk about diet.”
     
  4. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I just skimmed the article. Seems like the major flaw of the study is incorrect randomization.
    Now I know of a study which is wayyy more flawed than this.

    Should we contact the critics* named in the article and try to get them interested in the PACE trial?

    *John Carlisle, ("a British anesthesiologist and legend in medical statistics")
    Cecile Janssens, ("research professor of epidemiology at Emory University")
    Hilda Bastian ("who also specializes in picking apart trials ")
     
    Sly Saint, MeSci, EzzieD and 4 others like this.
  5. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Replace *nutrition* with *health*, *food* with *disease*, and *diet* with *treatment*,
    the quote will still hold true.
     
  6. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is anyone willing to contact the author with a plug for PACE as a next article candidate?
    A link to Tuller's blog series may also be good reference material...
     
  7. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    If the only problem was the randomisation, then I think 'the science just fell apart' quote is a bit strong.

    Sure, it wasn't ideal that the patients of entire clinics were allocated to one diet, but it sounds as though there were a lot of clinics. And sure, it would have been better if only one participant from each family was enrolled in the study, rather than multiple family members (so that the issue of whether all the family members were allocated to one treatment or not didn't arise). But again, this was a very big study with lots of participants and therefore lots of families.

    This is an important point: the base line characteristics of the participants of each treatment group - at least the characteristics that the researchers collected data on - were very similar. That does tend to limit the harm that 'rather less than random allocation to treatments' might cause.

    Sure, the sloppiness in randomisation and reporting creates concerns about what else wasn't done well. Perhaps there are other problems that we didn't hear about. But the problems discussed in the article don't amount to 'the science falling apart' in my opinion.

    Perhaps it's just that my standards for acceptable science have been lowered by reading too much BPS drivel.

    I'm with you @Lisa108.
     

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