The advent of the internet has made it easier than ever to communicate with others and share information. Unfortunately, not all of the information that people spread through email and social media is correct. This problem is magnified when it comes to science, as not everyone has been trained in science to spot these inaccuracies.
In the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver tackles some of the biggest problems with modern science, from inadequate funding, to "publish or perish" philosophies, to egregious errors in science reporting that undermine the entire process.
There are many people who don't see the problem in manipulating the truth for the sake of website clicks and catchy news segments, but as Oliver explains, there are some very real reasons we need to be more critical of how we share scientific information.
Check it out here:
So how do you know if the scientific story you're reading is legit or if it's bending the truth? Make sure to read materials thoroughly and look at them with a critical eye.
Of course, someone who hasn't been trained in science might not be familiar with what separates a good story from a sensationalized one. Thankfully, Compound Interest has created this handy chart that shows the most common weaknesses in bad scientific studies.
If you're reading a study that suffers from these pitfalls; don't share it. If you see someone else sharing bad information, speak up and let them know why they shouldn't be sharing nonsense.
Together, we can stop bad science.