August 2, 2012

"There's a special place in purgatory reserved for scientists who make bold claims based on tiny effects of uncertain origin..."

"... and an extra-long sentence is imposed on those who also keep their data secret, publishing only hard-to-interpret summaries of statistical modeling."
The flames that purify their scientific souls will rise from the lake of lava that eternally consumes the journalists who further exaggerate their dubious claims. Those fires, alas, await Drew P. Cingel and S. Shyam Sundar, the authors of "Texting, techspeak, and tweens: The relationship between text messaging and English grammar skills", New Media & Society 5/11/2012....
(Via Volokh.)

12 comments:

Gahrie said...

When I read the quote, the first thing that popped into my mind was Climate Change alarmists.......

rhhardin said...

It's global warming all over again.

Richard Dolan said...

By making it a special place in purgatory, it's clear that there is still hope for the miscreants. Their crime against science was only venial, not mortal, meaning that it didn't stem from malice aforethought (a/k/a agenda-driven, answer-before-data science).

That pretty much leaves out all of the usual suspects in the category of bad science, and involves more of the 'poor communicator' sin.

Net: these sinners can't write, which applies to a lot of scientists and to even more academics.

Revenant said...

Nice takedown of a poorly-formed study.

Marshal said...

These guys designed their study to make news. Newsflash: pop science sucks.

Bob Ellison said...

In related news, you are what you eat.

Paco Wové said...

It's never safe to leave sociologists alone, unsupervised, with statistical software.

Or most medical researchers, for that matter.

MikeR said...

Serves these doofusses right. A little forethought, geniuses! Next time, do a study like mine, that shows that same-sex partners make better parents. No one will mess with you.

Fritz said...

No fair! Giving away the secrets! That's like showing how the magic trick works.

Unknown said...

"There's a special place in purgatory reserved for scientists who make bold claims based on tiny effects of uncertain origin; and an extra-long sentence is imposed on those who also keep their data secret, publishing only hard-to-interpret summaries of statistical modeling."

Now there is an extra-long sentence.

edutcher said...

Limbo, maybe, not Purgatory.

Purgatory is for the people who come up with garage's talking points.

Ken said...

There's a special place in purgatory, but not hell? Where will Michael Mann be?