(Spoiler alert: I succumbed!)
You surely remember the coffee study? I posted it only last week, Memories are made of this…
Okay, the study was actually on the effects of caffeine on the memory; Michael Yassa and associates were looking at how a dose of caffeine taken after a learning experience affected memory (even if the volunteer participants were not aware that they would be tested the following day on what they had remembered seeing during the “learning” experience).
My post was not about Yassa’s study itself; it was about the number of differences in press reports of the study: reports disagreed as to the number of volunteers Continue reading
The headlines say it all:
Coffee boosts memory retention, study says (CBC.ca)
Coffee a memory enhancing drug, say boffins (Register)
Coffee boosts long-term memory (Financial Times)
Study: coffee enhances long-term memory retention (Wired.co.uk)
Caffeine pill ‘could boost memory’ (BBC News)
Researchers Find Coffee Enhances Memory, Good News for Seniors (SeniorJournal.com)
Caffeine has positive effect on memory, Johns Hopkins researchers … (The Hub at Johns Hopkins)
One or Two Cups of Coffee Improves Short-Term Memory, Study (University Herald)
Daily Coffee might Help Memory (Onlymyhealth)
Drink two espressos to enhance long-term memory (New Scientist)
Scientists reveal caffeine provides huge boost to your short-term memory (Mirror.co.uk)
This is a selection of headlines found in a Google Search for [coffee memory] on 13 January. It looks like good news, strong news, positive news, doesn’t it?
Though, a moment’s careful looking might suggest a discrepancy or two… Continue reading
Congratulations, Ben Goldacre! Damning Report From The Public Accounts Committee On Clinical Trial Results Being Withheld tells it all.
On 3 January, the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons issued a report which expressed concern at the fact that pharmaceutical companies tend to publish results of clinical trials which make them look good, but withhold publication of trials in which the results are less favourable. This affects doctors’ knowledge and perceptions Continue reading
Two passages in an article in The Australian caught my eye recently.
The article carries the headline “Tracey Bretag says schools must teach how to reference information from the internet” and the story, written by The Australian’s Education Editor Sheradyn Holderhead, opens:
TELL US: Should proper referencing be taught at schools?
UNIVERSITY students do not understand plagiarism and cheating rules because cutting and pasting from the internet has become common practice in schools, a leading academic warns. Continue reading
The strange story of Hamilton Naki
A strange story, and a strange journey too. This post is not just Naki’s story, strange as that is.
We visit Wikipedia (and wonder if teachers who forbid its use might want to think again), touch on journalistic ethics, have a quick look at the online citation generator EasyBib, and finish at the gates of Turnitin, the software which will “check students’ work for improper citation or potential plagiarism” (Turnitin OriginalityCheck). Continue reading