Notes from the Electronic Cottage 7/29/21: Summer 2021 Encore 2 – Retraction Watch

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

We’ve been hearing a lot about anti-vaxers because of Covid but what we haven’t been hearing so much about is exactly why some folks are so opposed to not only Covid vaccinations but vaccinations in general. Turns out that in many cases their concern is based on a 1998 science paper that was retracted 12 years later, in 2010, after it was found to be, quite simply, wrong. And despite the journal it was published in pulling it from its archives because it was proven wrong, lots of people have no idea that paper is no longer considered scientifically correct or defensible. So how could any of us who aren’t scientists know about that? Well, we could make a stop at and find out that this paper – and a whole lot of others – have been retracted or withdrawn, often by their authors, when they have been proved incorrect. That’s the way science works. And while we are there, we could also take a look at well over a hundred papers on Covid-19 that have been retracted after being shown to be incorrect.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.