The Null Device

Celebrities and Science Review

A group calling itself Sense About Science, and dedicated to combatting scientific illiteracy, has published its review of scientifically illiterate statements made by celebrities in 2008. There were the usual one might expect (Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, various others' advocacy of dubious "detox diets" and similar quackery), along with some real humdingers:
Sarah Palin, Mr McCain's running mate, waded into the mire with her dismissal of some government research projects. "Sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not," Ms Palin said. But the geneticist Ellen Solomon takes Ms Palin to task for not understanding the importance of studies into fruit flies, which share roughly half their genes with humans. "They have been used for more than a century to understand how genes work, which has implications in, for example, understanding the ageing process," she said.
Mind you, even the stupendously awesome Barack Obama (who, it must be said, has been recruiting sound scientific thinkers to his cabinet) is taken to task for suggesting that there may be a link between MMR vaccines and autism, which, according to Ben Goldacre, has been thoroughly discredited.

There are 1 comments on "Celebrities and Science Review":

Posted by: Nick Seeber Sun Dec 28 07:02:39 2008

Thanks for the post, I hadn't seen Sense about Science before. However I have a (small) bone to pick. "...according to Ben Goldacre, has been thoroughly discredited" makes it sound like Ben is one of the authority figures who make didactic 'truth statements' about science. The media hoax of a link between MMR and autism has been discredited by the use of evidence-based medicine - Nullius in Verba :-)

Thanks for the posts though, I've been subscribing to your RSS feed for a month or so - keep it up!

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