TS Picks: August 17, 2015

A look at the rise in retractions; skipping breakfast and losing weight; why humans don’t care for cockroaches

Tracy Vence
Aug 17, 2015

Smokybrown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)WIKIMEDIA, TOBY HUDSON

Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:
 

  • “Are retractions increasing because errors and other misdeeds are becoming more common, or because research is now scrutinized more closely?” The Atlantic asks in its September issue. According to survey responses and retraction analyses, the answer is: both. According to The Atlantic, heightened scrutiny of the scientific literature could help prevent misdeeds like manipulating results. “As more scientific misconduct is exposed and shamed, researchers who were previously tempted to play fast and loose with their data may now think twice.”
     
  • The Washington Post last week (August 10) scoured the nutrition literature, finding that the notion that skipping breakfast is associated with weight gain “is based on scientific speculation, not certainty, and indeed . . . may be completely unfounded.”
     
  • “In Defense of the Cockroach” –The New Yorker, August...

Correction (August 17): This article has been updated to reflect that the first pick, on retractions, appeared in The Atlantic (not Wired, as was previously written). The Scientist regrets the error.

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