Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

How industry influences nutrition science

The best way to decide what to eat is to look at research. Unfortunately, not all research is reliable, as the article from Nutrition Action below points out.

How industry influences nutrition science

Make no mistake. Industry funding is about marketing, not science.

Continue reading

March 18, 2017 Posted by | diet, nutrition | , | Leave a comment

How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research

If you followed the revelations of how the tobacco industry ruins people’s lives in the name of profit, you will not be surprised at what the sugar industry has been (and is) doing. Articles from Time Magazine and Scientific American explain — take your pick.

Sugar Industry Secretly Paid for Favorable Harvard Research

Melissa Bailey | September 13, 2016 | Scientific American

Newly uncovered documents reveal that a sugar industry trade group initiated and paid for the studies, examined drafts and laid out a clear objective to protect sugar’s public reputation 

How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research

September 16, 2016 Posted by | health, nutrition | , , , | Leave a comment

Clinical trials skewing medical science

Scary. Read the original article to see the graphs and link to the clinical trial simulation game.

Clinical trials: Spilling the beans

Failure to publish the results of all clinical trials is skewing medical science

Jul 25th 2015 | The Economist

Continue reading

August 28, 2015 Posted by | health, statistics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Science Isn’t Broken

Wonderful article explaining why we can’t take each scientific study as “truth”, yet science is still providing us with the best answers.  Make sure you read it at the origin, so you can play with the interactive graph.

The Scientific Method: Science Isn’t Broken

It’s just a hell of a lot harder than we give it credit for.

By Christie Aschwanden | Aug 19, 2015 | FiveThirtyEight

Continue reading

August 25, 2015 Posted by | statistics | , , , | Leave a comment

Unreliable research

If you think you can rely on scientific research as truth, you’d be wrong, according to this article. I certainly will be much more skeptical of research from now on.  Well explained, a must-read article from The Economist:

Unreliable research:

Trouble at the lab

Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not

The Economist, Oct 19th 2013

Continue reading

April 8, 2014 Posted by | information, statistics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Headlined research likely to be wrong

Be careful with scientific research headlined in newspapers! From The Economist print edition:

Publish and be wrong

Oct 9th 2008

One group of researchers thinks headline-grabbing scientific reports are the most likely to turn out to be wrong
Continue reading

July 8, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, economics | , | Leave a comment

Wonder Drugs That Can Kill

This article from Discover Magazine includes an eye-opening section on interpretation of clinical research studies and doctors’ understanding of it.

I am passing this article on to my doctor.

Wonder Drugs That Can Kill


Modern pharmaceutical “breakthroughs” sometimes do more harm than good.

Continue reading

July 29, 2008 Posted by | health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment