Yesterday I published an article noting the problem with last October’s Lancet article that stated the Iraqi deaths from the UN invasion and war was 650,000 people, not 50,000 as others had reported.

Last night when I arrived home from a trip, I googled to see how many news outlets had picked up the Lancet scandal, and I discovered no major papers had done so, but four internet sites had done so, and two of these were right wing funded sites.
This morning, I googled “Lancet” again, and found six outlets. Only one was a newspaper:The Australian.

Way to go fellahs.

Yet if you google “650 000” casualties in Iraq, you find half a dozen articles that quote the Lancet article in the last two weeks.

But making decisions based on flawed data leads to flawed decisionmaking, in both medicine and politics.

For a medical journal to publish an article that has questionable data is news. For a medical journal to publish controversial data to influence an election is news. And for independent experts to question the accuracy of the data is news.

But not news to the MSM.

It is not as if the report was not questioned in scientific journals. Both Nature and a follow up Lancet article raised serious questions on the method of doing the survey. Both those journals require registration, but this blog has a report.The main problem was that the authors did not supervise the survey. There are different reports from different sources on how the survey was actually performed, and outside experts have been denied access to the raw data, although it is unclear if the data is missing or if it merely is being withheld. If true, there is a serious breech in the integrity of Lancet, which is one of the most trusted medical journals in the world.
So the big news on Google is that Brittney Spears tried to kill herself.
The politicization of science, nah. No big deal.
____________________

Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

Be Sociable, Share!