Where can I find some good fact-checking, especially science-related?
May 31, 2014 9:49 AM   Subscribe

What publications or organizations expose false claims of science or misuse of statistics? I enjoy Jon Stewart's style of playing clips where politicians directly contradict their current claims, but those claims are often about their positions or beliefs. I sometimes enjoy reading factcheck.org, but I don't like how often factcheck.org articles end up becoming a matter of comparing different analysts' forecasts, often in areas where I don't have the expertise to appreciate the original falsehood. In general, I'm not looking for areas where reasonable people can disagree. I'm looking for stories that come down to a straightforward misunderstanding and abuse of science or statistics, like "but it's all plaintext under the SSL!" or not correcting for frequency of encountering humans and sharks when comparing risk of rape with risk of death by shark attack.
posted by d. z. wang to Science & Nature (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I understand you are looking for a source that is topical and ongoing, not I recommend Nate Silver' book The Signal And The Noise which explores issues you might find of interest. Also, check out his website. It will have some articles of the type you are looking for. http://fivethirtyeight.com
posted by SemiSalt at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2014

Bad Astronomy
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 AM on May 31, 2014

For science, there's Sense About Science, but it has a UK focus. Amongst other things, they have a "For the record" collection of responses to particular news reports.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 10:03 AM on May 31, 2014

Bad Medicine
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:05 AM on May 31, 2014

Bad Science
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Retraction Watch is devoted to revealing retractions from scholarly journals for everything from plagiarism to falsification.

You can also read about all of NIH's Findings of Scientific and Research Misconduct at their Office of Research Integrity.
posted by gubenuj at 10:07 AM on May 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh, also Quackwatch may have a bit of what you are seeking along the lines of "someone said or published this but the compelling evidence shows otherwise and not only that they did it wrong and not only that they were biased in the first place".
posted by gubenuj at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2014

Bad Science's Ben Goldacre has his own site too. I'm not sure if there is other original content, but he's an interesting guy and I'm sure he points to other people doing similar things.
posted by jessamyn at 11:03 AM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's a BBC Radio 4 program called More or Less, which is all about looking at the truth behind the statistics quoted in the media or by politicians.
posted by kadia_a at 1:44 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding More or Less! They have a podcast too (which I'm hoping will be available outside the UK, especially since there's a version of the show on BBC World Service.)
posted by firesine at 3:09 PM on May 31, 2014

I like Science-Based Medicine. The nutrition tag is pretty great.
posted by Danila at 8:04 PM on May 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Snopes.com debunks rumors and urban legends, many of which are science-related.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:51 PM on June 2, 2014

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