To ensure policy failure on such a scale never happens again, those of us who oppose them need concrete proposals that could be implemented by a parliament and which address the root causes of the failed policies.
Once more, a 'peer-reviewed' journal has to retract a bunch of papers because they are literally nonsense – generated by a computer algorithm. Why aren't publishers getting on top of this discreditable problem?
by Mike Hearn Recently YouGov announced that 64% of the British public would support mandatory booster vaccinations and another polling firm claimed that 45% would support indefinite home detention for the unvaccinated (i.e., forced vaccination of the entire population). The extreme nature of these claims immediately attracted attention, and not for the first time raised questions about how accurate polling on Covid mandates actually is. In this essay I'm going to explore some of the biases that can affect these types of poll, and in particular pro-social, mode and volunteering biases, which might be leading to inaccurately large pro-mandate responses. There's evidence that polling bias on COVID topics can be enormous. In January researchers in Kenya compared results from an opinion poll asking whether people wore masks to actual observations. They discovered that while 88% of people told the pollsters that they wore masks outside, in reality only 10% of people actually did. Suspicions about mandate polls and YouGov specifically are heightened by the fact that they very explicitly took a position on what people "should" be doing in 2020, using language like "Britons still won't wear masks", "this could prove a particular problem", "we are far behind our neighbours" and most concerning of all - "our partnership with Imperial College". Given widespread awareness of how easy it is to...
by Mike Hearn It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.Marcia Angell Check out this image from a peer reviewed research paper that supposedly shows skin lesions being treated by a laser: Left: before treatment for keratoses. Right: after they were airbrushed out. (image diff is available here) On being challenged the authors said: The photograph was taken in the same room with a similar environment; unfortunately the patient wore the same shirt. The journal found this explanation acceptable and forwarded the response to the complainants. It’s becoming clear that science has major difficulties with not only a flood of incorrect and intellectually fraudulent claims, but also literally faked, entirely made up papers with random data, imaginary experiments and photoshopped images in them. Some of these papers are sold by organised gangs to Chinese doctors who need them to get promoted. But others come from really sketchy outfits like (sigh) the National Health Service, to whom we owe the masterpiece seen above. The British Government hasn’t noticed that its doctors are massaging...
by Mike Hearn A recent paper in the Lancet claims that one in five people might not get immunity from being infected with COVID. The study is invalid. Although these sorts of problems have been seen before, this is a good opportunity to quickly recall why COVID science is in such dire straits. The research has a straightforward goal: follow a population of Danish people who tested positive in Denmark's first wave, and re-test them during the second wave to see if they became infected a second time. Denmark has a large free PCR testing programme so there is plenty of data to analyse. Out of 11,068 who tested positive in the first wave, 72 also tested positive during the second wave. This fact is used to advocate for vaccination of people who've already had COVID. The obvious problem with this strategy is that false positives can cause apparent reinfection even when no such thing has happened. The paper doesn't mention this possibility until page 7, where the entire topic is dismissed in a single sentence: "Some misclassifications by PCR tests might have occurred; however, the test used is believed to be highly accurate, with a sensitivity of 97·1% and specificity of 99·98%." My curiosity was piqued by this figure because, as I've written about previously, at least as of...
Editors of scientific journals are already being duped into publishing fake research papers written by AIs. But with the rapid improvement in AIs, the problem is about to get much worse. What are they doing about it?
As we've come to expect from LSHTM and epidemiology in general, their latest model calling for stringent restrictions to save the NHS is un-scientific and contains severe problems making its predictions worthless.
Could the Covid vaccines actually be making us more susceptible to COVID-19? Former Google software engineer Mike Hearn explores this issue for the Daily Sceptic.
The MSM has finally cottoned on to the problem of academic fraud. It's great news that much bigger audiences are now being exposed to information about the scale and nature of the problems inside scientific institutions.
Tom Chivers at UnHerd claims false positives in the PCR test are "so rare" they can be ignored. Mike Hearn, a former Google software engineer, begs to differ in the Daily Sceptic.
A peer-reviewed scientific journal has published 436 papers that appear to be complete gibberish. What's the explanation?
Neil Ferguson et al have just published a paper arguing that had the UK adopted Sweden's approach to Covid, our death toll would be twice as high. But the paper is just flat out wrong, from the first sentence onwards.
We hear a lot about misinformation being put about by non-scientists, but nothing about fraudulent papers published in scientific journals. Former Google software engineer Mike Hearn investigates for the Daily Sceptic.