A Pandemic of Bad Science


Appeared In: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Publication Date: July 20, 2020

That there is an extraordinary level of interest in coronavirus news should come as no surprise, but this elevated interest society now has in pandemic-related science has unintended consequences that shouldn’t be ignored. Studies are being rushed to publication even in well-regarded journals. Unvetted articles on so-called preprint servers have received enormous attention. Predatory journals are giving anyone with the ability to pay the opportunity to publish pseudoscience that can be amplified by mainstream news sources. Marketers are exploiting the public’s desperation for protection against COVID-19 and adding a scientific sheen to dubious products. And perhaps well-meaning experts in data science are producing a raft of arguably meaningless research, creating a distraction at best and wasting valuable resources at worst.

Walter Scheirer (2020) A pandemic of bad science, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 76:4, 175-184. DOI: 10.1080/00963402.2020.1778361

Related Articles