The next time you read “A new study shows that red meat causes innocent colons to explode” just recall this article…
Last year, research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud had increased tenfold since 1975.
The same analysis reviewed more than 2,000 retracted biomedical papers and found that 67 percent of the retractions were attributable to misconduct, mainly fraud or suspected fraud. . . .
[University of Washington research Ferric C.] Fang said retractions may be rising because it is simply easier to cheat in an era of digital images, which can be easily manipulated. But he said the increase is caused at least in part by the growing competition for publication and for NIH grant money. . . .
It would be easy to say that you should ignore all science, but that’s the wrong answer. The right answer is to use a little common sense and if the screaming headline seems to good to believe or seems to contradict reality feel free to set phasers to skeptical.