The "take out data points" trick
Use your words

Separating science from hype

From the Rockerfeller University, a simple guide to separating science from hype, no PhD required:

  1. Separate the sales pitch from the science“In short, read articles carefully and figure out if the claims they make are based on the facts they present.”
  2. Find the data“use Google Scholar to look for the original source. Search with whatever information you have: the names of the scientists, their institution, or the main topic.”
  3. Evaluate the data“Think about it this way: if you were in charge of figuring out the height of the average American male, you would need to measure a bunch of people to get it right. If you only measured a few people, and they happened to be basketball players, you’d be way off.”
    The section on misleading graphs here is brilliant.
  4. Put the story into context“If you’re having trouble finding alternative perspectives, the Wikipedia page for the topic can be a good place to start, especially if it contains a “controversy” or “criticism” section.”
  5. Ask an expert“Is there a science blogger you like? Tweet at them. […] Nothing beats a real discussion (even over Twitter or email!), but you can also check out neutral, non-biased sites like Mayo Clinic.”

(via Boing Boing)

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