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Encyclopedia > Junk science

Junk or bunk science is a term used to describe purportedly scientific data, research, analyses or claims which are perceived to be driven by political, financial or other questionable motives. It is these motives that distinguish junk science from pseudoscience and controversial science. Oftentimes, the term "junk science" is used by opponents of certain advocacy groups who believe that a said group's scientific research is biased, unscientific, and with a special agenda to prove, rather than unbiased, true scientific inquiry. Data is the plural of datum. ... Research is often described as an active, diligent, and systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting and revising facts. ... Look up Analysis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary An analysis is a critical evaluation, usually made by breaking a subject (either material or intellectual) down into its constituent parts, then describing the parts and their relationship to the whole. ... Phrenology is regarded today as being a classic example of pseudoscience. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pseudoscience. ... List of advocacy groups Advocacy Institute A-CHAMP Alliance for Reliable Transport The Child Advocate Network Earth First! Empower America Generation Rescue Greenpeace International Trepanation Advocacy Group Landmine Survivors Network MindFreedom International Minnesota Citizens for the Arts People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Public Citizen Treatment Advocacy Center Union...


As with many other ideological terms, there is often no political agreement as to which side of a debate constitutes "junk", and which "real" science, though the scientific community typically has an overwhelming majority opinion. Public debates on environmental and public health issues seem particularly prone to this problem. These debates are further complicated when scientists use mass media to publicize their research. An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... The scientific community consists of the interactions and relationships of scientists. ... It has been suggested that ecologism be merged into this article or section. ... Public health is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. ... Mass media is a term used to denote, as a class, that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience (typically at least as large as the whole population of a nation state). ...

Contents


Use of the term

John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton of PR Watch believe that the term "junk science" is often used to deride scientific findings which stand in the way of short-term corporate profit maximization. In their book Trust Us, We're Experts (2001), they write that industry has launched multi-million-dollar campaigns to position certain theories as "junk science," often failing to employ the scientific method themselves. For example, the tobacco industry has used the term "junk science" to describe research showing negative effects of smoking and second-hand smoke, through various astroturf groups. More consonant theories may be praised using the term "sound science". Another example for discrediting disliked scientific findings is a large industry campaign to "reposition global warming as theory, not fact" that is described in detail by Stauber and Rampton. Anti-global warming environmental scientists and spokespersons for corporations and government bureaucracies counter by saying that the scientific evidence used by their critics actually constitutes junk science and should not be used as a basis for policy. John Stauber is an American writer and political activist who co-authored five books about propaganda by governments, private interests and the PR industry. ... Sheldon Rampton (born August 4, 1957) is the editor of PR Watch, and the author of several books that criticize the public relations industry and what he sees as other forms of corporate and government propaganda. ... PR Watch is a quarterly newsletter whose stated mission is to expose deceptive and misleading public relations campaigns. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Trust Us, Were Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future is a book written by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for the investigation of phenomena and the acquisition of new knowledge of the natural world, as well as the correction and integration of previous knowledge, based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning. ... Species Nicotiana acuminata Nicotiana alata Nicotiana attenuata Nicotiana benthamiana Nicotiana clevelandii Nicotiana excelsior Nicotiana forgetiana Nicotiana glauca Nicotiana glutinosa Nicotiana langsdorffii Nicotiana longiflora Nicotiana obtusifolia Nicotiana paniculata Nicotiana plumbagifolia Nicotiana quadrivalvis Nicotiana repanda Nicotiana rustica Nicotianasuaveolens Nicotiana sylvestris Nicotiana tabacum Nicotiana tomentosa Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005... Various smoking equipment including different pipes, mothe lungs. ... In American politics and advertising, the term astroturfing describes formal public relations projects which deliberately seek to engineer the impression of spontaneous, grassroots behavior. ... Global mean surface temperatures 1856 to 2005; this map shows mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming refers to the increases in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades. ... Environmental science is the study of the interactions among the physical, chemical and biological components of the environment; with a focus on pollution and degradation of the environment related due to human activities; and the impact on biodiversity and sustainability from local and global development. ... A corporation is a legal person which, while being composed of natural persons, exists completely separately from them. ... Bureaucracy is a sociological concept of government and its institutions as an organizational structure characterized by regularized procedure, division of responsibility, hierarchy, and impersonal relationships. ...


In a February 6, 2006 article, "Smoked Out: Pundit for Hire", Paul D. Thacker of The New Republic said that Fox News' "Junk Science" commentator, Steven Milloy, was receiving money from ExxonMobil while attacking research on global warming. Thacker also revealed secret tobacco industry documents indicating that Milloy was receiving almost $100,000 a year from Philip Morris, while he ridiculed the science proving the hazards of second-hand smoke. [1] While Fox News has yet to address the issue of industry-paid journalists, this and other efforts have been explained by Phillip Morris executives in the 1988 "Whitecoat Project" as keeping alive the controversy of environmental tobacco smoke. [2] February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see the disambiguation section. ... Fox News Channels slogan is We Report, You Decide The Fox News Channel is a U.S. cable and satellite news channel. ... Steven Milloy is a columnist for Fox News and a paid advocate for Phillip Morris, ExxonMobil and other corporations. ... Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) is the largest publicly traded, integrated oil and gas company in the world, formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. ... Altria Group, Inc. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


See also

In American politics and advertising, the term astroturfing describes formal public relations projects which deliberately seek to engineer the impression of spontaneous, grassroots behavior. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pseudoscience. ... Fringe science is a phrase used to describe scientific inquiry in an established field that departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories. ... Pathological science is a neologism to pejoratively describe the pursuit of pseudoscientific claims as being irrational to the point where they like a pathology or disease. ... It has been suggested that Propaganda in the United States be merged into this article or section. ... Phrenology is regarded today as being a classic example of pseudoscience. ... Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for the investigation of phenomena and the acquisition of new knowledge of the natural world, as well as the correction and integration of previous knowledge, based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning. ... Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in professional scientific research. ... Voodoo Science, another term for pseudoscience, was popularized in a book of the same title (ISBN 0195147103) written in 2001 by Robert L. Park. ...

Further reading

Chris C. Mooney is an American journalist who focuses on science in political policy. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
What is Junk Science? (312 words)
"Junk science" is the use of faulty data and/or analysis to further a special agenda.
Some use junk science to advance social and political agendas.
who, through ignorance or insufficient capacity to understand, promote junk science because it is consistent with what they have "always believed" or "always heard" or because they just don't like the real answers.
Junk science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (541 words)
Junk or bunk science is a term used to derogate purportedly scientific data, research, analyses or claims which are perceived to be driven by political, financial or other questionable motives.
It is these motives that distinguish junk science from pseudoscience and controversial science.
Anti-global warming environmental scientists and spokespersons for corporations and government bureaucracies counter by saying that the scientific evidence used by their critics actually constitutes junk science and should not be used as a basis for policy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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