July 3, 2017

Where science clickbait comes from

From the Chronicle of Higher Education

Mr. Vijg said repeatedly that his Nature paper made no “definitive statement” about a maximum human age and that he felt “amazement” that anyone might think otherwise. But he acknowledged approving a news release about his study issued by Albert Einstein College with the headline: “Maximum human lifespan has already been reached, Einstein researchers conclude.”

It’s more often the press release than the research paper, but with the consent of the researchers. If press releases were signed by a researcher and made available along with the research paper, there’d be more incentive not to do this sort of thing.


Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »