Selective Skepticism and the Center for Science in the Public Interest


The Center for Science in the Public Interest runs what it calls its Integrity in Science project. That project aims to be a watchdog over industry-funded science blowing the whistle when CSPIers detect a foul. To this end, the project emails out a weekly Integrity in Science Watch newsletter detailing instances of what CSPI believes is conflicted science. So far, so good.

However, this week's Watch featured an item (2nd one down) based on a Wall Street Journal article about a newly released study on cancer rates at IBM factories. Apparently IBM had tried to suppress this study.

The CSPIers properly cocked a skeptical eye toward an earlier study which found lower than average cancer rates published by epidemiologists hired by IBM–nothing wrong with that. What was curious about the the Integrity in Science Project item was its apparent lack of skepticism about the newly published study, which was financed by trial lawyers. As I say, curious.