A new observational study claims that cheese increases breast cancer risk, while yogurt can lower it. Since both are dairy, that means they would be suggesting a dairy process causes or prevents cancer.
The case control study has numerous confounders that will not be noticed by most journalists so media outlets looking for context beware.
The line between deliberately manipulating a story and poorly reporting the facts is perilously thin.
During Sunday’s Oscars, what is colloquially called the United States’ ‘paper of record’, the New York Times, launched an advertising blitz positioning itself as the highbrow ethical responder to the spate of so-called ‘fake news.’
“The truth is hard…to find…to know,” the ad, widely circulated now on YouTube, proclaimed somberly.
I was not supposed to start this piece using the pronoun ‘I’.
We frequently see a contrast drawn between what is “natural” and what is “chemical.” Sometimes products are described as “chemical-free” even though every physical object is made of chemicals.
As much as this suggests a problem with our science education, it speaks to a missed opportunity for wonder. Nature is not some sort of cosmic mother figure; on the contrary, nature is composed of diverse biological and physical processes, including some pretty amazing examples of chemistry continually taking place.
It’s not hard these days to find stories in the popular media about the presence of various chemical contaminants in our environment. Included in this genre are stories about trace levels of chemicals in common consumer products, in the air we breathe, and in the water we drink. Almost inevitably the stories suggest that even minor exposures are harming our health.-->