So, did you see the study that said you should eat chocolate to lose weight? Well, it was fake.

That is, a group set out to see if they could scam the science and nutrition publishers. They did.

Quoting Howard Booth, “They managed to produce factually correct results that made an outlandish claim, write it up, get it published”. In other words, they lied without really telling any lies, and nobody caught it.

It is tempting to think science for profit is to blame, but this still goes to the government. Sure, the profit motive blinded the publications and those involved, but the blame for the mindset and culture of publishing drivel lies squarely at the governments that fund so much of the related research that provides the grist for these publishing mills.

Governments should protect our property. Nothing more. When they try to help us, they always do more harm than good.

is the same reference given in the main post at WUWT.

Watts Up With That?

A scientist / journalist shares his story of a sting operation on the scientific publishing process with frightening results.

chocolate-scienceHoward Booth writes:

An interesting sting was done on scientific publishing to show how remarkably easy it is to get published despite doing a poor research project (in this case on purpose).  John Bohannon, a PhD chemist and science journalist, was contracted to do a documentary for German television on the poor research in nutrition that produces outlandish claims about diet and dietary supplements.  They conspired to create a research study intended to produce fantastic results, and see how often their poor research would get called out through the entire publishing process.

The study had a terrible sample size, poor quality control, and zero peer review.  They managed to produce factually correct results that made an outlandish claim, write it up, get it published (with their choice of venues as many…

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