Have Chinese Researchers Found A Link Between Abortion And Breast Cancer?

Even by my own standards this is a long article at a little over 14,000 words including references. The main subject of the article is a recent Chinese ‘ABC’ (Abortion-Breast Cancer) study, a meta-analysis of 36 studies looking at the relationship between induced abortion and women’s risk of […]

The Independent’s ‘Lost Girls’ Wrap Up Show

I’ve never been one to leave a job half done so for this article I’m heading back to The Independent’s grossly overheated and incompetently executed ‘Lost Girls’ story to finish off the job I started last week by looking, albeit rather obliquely, at the two comment piece that […]

The Independent and Sex Selective Abortion: Not Even Wrong

According to The Independent: Pressure is growing for the Government to curb the way that ultrasound scans can be used to inform pregnant women about the gender of their unborn babies following an investigation by The Independent suggesting that female foetuses are more likely to be aborted within […]

The Independent’s ‘Lost Girls’: A Truly Epic Fail in Data Journalism

Okay, quick recap: Yesterday, The Independent Newspaper published an article by its Science Editor, Steve Connor, in which its purports to have uncovered evidence of what it claims to be widespread use of illegal sex-selective abortions by ‘some UK ethnic groups’, all based on a bespoke data set […]

The Indie’s ‘Lost Girls’ may not be what it appears

Okay, this is a bit of rush job but even in the absence of any data to work with, the Independent’s claim to have uncovered evidence in the 2011 census data that gender selective abortion is being ‘widely used’ by some UK ethnic groups requires n immediate response: […]

Plebgate and the Illusion of Memory

Okay, so Plebgate is back in the news today because Keith Wallis, the Metropolitan Police Officer who false claimed to have witnessed the incident in an email sent to his local MP has admitted a charge of misconduct in public office and offered to resign from the force. […]

Domestic Abuse Statistics and Margins of Error

Today’s Observer is running a story on research by Citizens Advice which, more than anything else, serves to demonstrate just how easily statistical information can be abused to present an alarming but potentially inaccurate picture of reality… Domestic abuse: half a million victims ‘too terrified to come forward’ […]

Polygraph Screening for Sex Offenders: Bad Science, Even Worse Policy

Of the many variations on Martin Niemoller’s famous ‘First they came for…’ speech I’ve seen kicking around the Internet none, so far as I can recall, has ever started with the line ‘First they came for the sex offenders”. As population sub-groups go, it’s difficult to think of […]

How Big Is Online Porn?

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last three weeks or so debunking a variety of spurious claims about online porn. Amanda Platell claimed to have watched a child porn video she found using Google, but that proved to be an old commercial porn video in […]

Google and Child Porn-Related Search Engine Traffic

Warning: May contain actual evidence. Three weeks ago, I published a couple of articles in the space of two days that conclusively debunked Amanda Platell’s claim that it was easy to find child pornography online using nothing more than Google proving, first, that a porn video she described […]