“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan
Lots of ‘Year in Review’ pieces right about now and great to see MSNBC’s review of ‘D’oh! Top science journal retractions of 2011’…
- “Each year hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles are retracted. Most involve no blatant malfeasance; the authors themselves often detect errors and retract the paper. Some retractions, however, as documented on the blog Retraction Watch, entail plagiarism, false authorship or cooked data. No journal is safe from retractions, from the mighty "single-word-title" journals such as Nature, Science and Cell, to the myriad minor, esoteric ones.”
Here are the top 5 scientific ‘ooops’ for the year…
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by a virus.
- Litter breeds crime and discrimination.
- Treat appendicitis with antibiotics, not surgery.
- Butterfly meets worm, falls in love, and has caterpillars.
- Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries lead to drop in crime.
Among all of the celebrations of the past years successes, triumphs, and milestones, this embrace of the many misdirections, mistakes and failures is to be applauded.