Talking back to the authors of the Northwestern “Blood test for depression” study

23 Sep

Yesterday, I blogged about some of the problems with science journalism. This post from the Quick Thoughts blog gives an example.
“One has to ask why would these mental health professionals disseminate such misleading, premature, and potentially harmful claims?”

Quick Thoughts

translational psychiatryJudging from the extraordinary number of articles in the media, as well as the flurry of activity on Twitter, a recent study coming out of Northwestern University is truly a breakthrough in providing a blood test for depression.

Unfortunately, the many articles in the media have a considerable, almost copy/paste redundancy. Just compare them to the Translational Psychiatry article’s press release. In many instances, there is more than churnalism going on, there is outright plagiarism. Media coverage offers very few demurs or dampening qualifications on what the authors claim. How do journalists put their names on such lack of work?

Similarly, the tweets appear to be retweets of just a couple of messages, although few are labeled as retweets.

I had my usual doubts as to whether the journalists or tweeters have actually read the article. Journalists could always have gone for second opinions to Google Scholar and looked…

View original post 2,483 more words

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