#fake_science

  • (6) Didier Raoult, général Boulanger de la médecine - Libération
    https://www.liberation.fr/france/2020/06/01/didier-raoult-general-boulanger-de-la-medecine_1789960

    Et voilà comment dans un pays sans culture de santé publique, où la science est une opinion comme une autre, un grand patron autoritaire et caractériel, symbole d’un système mandarinal, est devenu une figure de la contre-culture populiste. A son avantage, il bénéficie de l’indigence absolue de la gestion gouvernementale de la crise, et d’une communication hors-sol qui heurte le bon sens. La minimisation du risque pandémique, la condescendance ministérielle envers les expériences chinoise et italienne, les mensonges répétés sur l’inutilité des masques ou des tests, tout ceci a laissé la porte ouverte à un homme d’une extrême vanité, qui va à la fois jouer le dedans et le dehors, mettre en avant son gros impact factor, et sa capacité à éclater les codes méthodologiques usuels.

    Tétanisés par son assurance, incapables de lui opposer autre chose qu’un conseil scientifique qui fait où on lui dit de faire (comme lors du maintien du premier tour des municipales), les gouvernants restent muets. Et alors que Raoult et son équipe se livrent à des expérimentations humaines hors-cadre, publiant dans des revues amies des études indigentes, maquillant des études interventionnelles en études observationnelles, les agences sanitaires se distinguent par leur silence embarrassé.

    Il faudra attendre le 23 mai, soit trois mois après les premières sorties de Didier Raoult, pour qu’un ancien vice-président de la commission des autorisations de mise sur le marché à l’Agence française du médicament, le Pr Jean-François Bergmann, s’avance courageusement – sarcasme – pour annoncer dans le Parisien : « On peut le dire haut et fort, le Pr Raoult se trompe ! » OK boomer, bienvenue aux résistants de 1946… Mais pourquoi n’avoir pas réagi plus tôt aux innombrables violations scientifiques dont s’est rendue coupable l’équipe Raoult ? Réponse magique – sarcasme, quand tu nous tiens : « On s’est tus avec élégance. »

    La longue liste de politiques ayant cautionné les thèses de Didier Raoult n’est plus à faire. Au prétexte de l’urgence, Bruno Retailleau, président du groupe LR au Sénat, assène le 22 mars : « De toute façon, qu’est-ce qu’on risque ? Les gens meurent. » Christian Estrosi, maire LR de Nice, déclare le 23 mars : « On n’a pas le temps de tester sur des souris pendant six mois. » Marine Le Pen, présidente du Rassemblement national, déclarera le 30 mars : « Je pense qu’il faut tout de suite donner la possibilité à tous les médecins de ville de le prescrire. » Et, jamais en reste, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, député de l’Essonne et président du parti Debout la France, martèlera le 6 avril : « Chaque jour perdu est un crime ! Je le dis. Je le répéterai. » Au moins ont-ils l’honnêteté de ne pas effacer leurs tweets, à la différence de Ségolène Royal, qui dénonçait le 23 mars : « C’est urgent ! Pourquoi ces hésitations bureaucratiques incompréhensibles ? »

    Ce qui est fascinant ici, chez ces politiques censés légiférer sur la chose publique, c’est l’absence de toute compétence médicale, de toute culture scientifique. Qu’un mandarin barrisse plus fort que les autres, et ils se mettront en ordre de marche derrière lui, comme le fera Michel Onfray.

    #Didier_Raoult #Fake_science #Chloroquine

  • A mysterious company’s coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling | Science | AAAS
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/mysterious-company-s-coronavirus-papers-top-medical-journals-may-be-unra

    On its face, it was a major finding: Antimalarial drugs touted by the White House as possible COVID-19 treatments looked to be not just ineffective, but downright deadly. A study published on 22 May in The Lancet used hospital records procured by a little-known data analytics company called Surgisphere to conclude that coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to show an irregular heart rhythm—a known side effect thought to be rare—and were more likely to die in the hospital.

    Within days, some large randomized trials of the drugs—the type that might prove or disprove the retrospective study’s analysis—screeched to a halt. Solidarity, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) megatrial of potential COVID-19 treatments, paused recruitment into its hydroxychloroquine arm, for example.

    But just as quickly, the Lancet results have begun to unravel—and Surgisphere, which provided patient data for two other high-profile COVID-19 papers, has come under withering online scrutiny from researchers and amateur sleuths. They have pointed out many red flags in the Lancet paper, including the astonishing number of patients involved and details about their demographics and prescribed dosing that seem implausible. “It began to stretch and stretch and stretch credulity,” says Nicholas White, a malaria researcher at Mahidol University in Bangkok.

    Today, The Lancet issued an Expression of Concern (EOC) saying “important scientific questions have been raised about data” in the paper and noting that “an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly.”

    Hours earlier, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) issued its own EOC about a second study using Surgisphere data, published on 1 May. The paper reported that taking certain blood pressure drugs including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors didn’t appear to increase the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, as some researchers had suggested. (Several studies analyzing other groups of COVID-19 patients support the NEJM results.) “Recently, substantive concerns have been raised about the quality of the information in that database,” an NEJM statement noted. “We have asked the authors to provide evidence that the data are reliable.”

    Surgisphere’s sparse online presence—the website doesn’t list any of its partner hospitals by name or identify its scientific advisory board, for example—have prompted intense skepticism. Physician and entrepreneur James Todaro of the investment fund Blocktown Capital wondered in a blog post why Surgisphere’s enormous database doesn’t appear to have been used in peer-reviewed research studies until May. Another post, from data scientist Peter Ellis of the management consulting firm Nous Group, questioned how LinkedIn could list only five Surgisphere employees—all but Desai apparently lacking a scientific or medical background—if the company really provides software to hundreds of hospitals to coordinate the collection of sensitive data from electronic health records. (This morning, the number of employees on LinkedIn had dropped to three.) And Chaccour wonders how such a tiny company was able to reach data-sharing agreements with hundreds of hospitals around the world that use many different languages and data recording systems, while adhering to the rules of 46 different countries on research ethics and data protection.

    The controversy has been an unfortunate distraction, Hernán adds. “If you do something as inflammatory as this without a solid foundation, you are going to make a lot of people waste time trying to understand what is going on.”

    Chaccour says both NEJM and The Lancet should have scrutinized the provenance of Surgisphere’s data more closely before publishing the studies. “Here we are in the middle of a pandemic with hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the two most prestigious medical journals have failed us,” he says.

    #Chloroquine #Revues_médicales #Surgisphere #Données_médicales #Fake_science

  • Fish tales : Combating #fake_science in popular media - ScienceDirect
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000903

    Ocean & Coastal Management
    Volume 115, October 2015, Pages 88-91
    (article accessible)

    Abstract
    What role should scientist play in correcting bad science, fake science, and pseudoscience presented in popular media? Here, we present a case study based on fake documentaries and discuss effective social media strategies for scientists who want to engage with the public on issues of bad science, pseudoscience, and fake science. We identify two tracks that scientists can use to maximize the broad dissemination of corrective and educational content: that of an audience builder or an expert resource. Finally, we suggests that scientists familiarize themselves with common sources of misinformation within their field, so that they can be better able to respond quickly when factually inaccurate content begins to spread.

    Deux citations en exergue :

    1. Introduction
    A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.
    ∼Almost certainly not Mark Twain.

    Falsehood will fly, as it were, on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps, though sure, are slow and solemn, and she has neither vigour nor activity enough to pursue and overtake her enemy.
    ∼Thomas Francklin, Sermons on Various Subjects, 1787

    Et les cas pratiques étudiés (et contrés) : la preuve de l’existence des sirènes et d’un complot gouvernemental pour la masquer suivie de la preuve de la survie d’un mégalodon (requin géant - jusqu’à 20 mètres, le plus grand prédateur marin, disparu au Miocène…)

    2. Mermaids and megalodons: the rise and fall of the fake discovery documentary
    In May, 2012, Animal Planet, a Discovery Communications property, released Mermaids: The Body Found. The fictitious documentary, which presents the case that mermaids are not only real, but that there is an active government conspiracy to hide their existence, aired with a minimal post-credit disclaimer and was proceeded by heavy promotional material suggesting that the program evidence-based. To project credibility, Mermaids featured actual government organizations, particularly the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), implicating real scientists in a fake conspiracy. NOAA experienced a backlash from this production and issued a statement distancing itself from the show (NOAA, 2012). Several NOAA scientists reported being verbally accosted as a result of their perceived complicity in the “mermaid conspiracy” (personal communications to Shiffman and Thaler).

    Mermaids: The Body Found launched a new generation of fake documentaries, produced with the trappings of educational programming, including high production value, stunning visuals, and compelling narration. Since then, Discovery Communications’ networks have aired a follow-up to the initial fake mermaid documentary, which went on to become Animal Planet’s highest grossing show (ABC News, 2013), as well as two that promote the claim that the extinct Carcharocles megalodon (Pimiento and Clements, 2014) is extant and predating on humans. These fake documentaries followed a very particular style, weaving real science, natural history, and current events with fabricated images, CGI video, and interviews with actors playing experts, witnesses, and government officials. In each case, the fake documentaries created conflict by inserting real government agencies into the narrative as antagonists, and implicated working scientists in fictional conspiracies.

  • Dans le laboratoire de la « fake science » - Le Temps
    https://www.letemps.ch/sciences/2017/04/07/laboratoire-fake-science

    « La version scientifique de l’alt-right »

    Depuis 2010, Emil Kirkegaard utilise ainsi ses compétences pour analyser toutes les données qu’il trouve en ligne afin de prouver scientifiquement une supposée hiérarchie génétique entre les humains. Avec les Occidentaux et Asiatiques en haut de la pyramide, Africains et Roms en bas. « Il est la version scientifique de l’alt-right, cette mouvance américaine d’extrême droite suprématiste »

    (…) Le Danois publie ses travaux sur Google Scholar, portail censé être réservé aux universitaires et permettre une circulation ouverte des connaissances. Interrogé par « Le Temps » sur la présence d’articles à telles consonances sur sa plateforme, Google répond que s’il y avait un problème, son système d’alerte l’aurait repéré.

    #fake_science #fake_news #racisme