Reading News is a daily mundane in our life. Some people are interested in reading political news, some have an interest in the film industry, some towards sports and some has a strong interest in scientific studies. But do you think, every scientific study you read about, is accurate and is complete? Stick on to the article to fill in yourself on the same.
“Eating garlic can help to prevent age-related memory loss, study reveals”, “A new study shows that high-fat diets are linked to anxiety and depression”, “This is the best time of day to work out, according to science”; These headlines are what people blindly believe in without digging in deeper and actually finding out the core of the study. Generally, all the experiments with the help of which such headlines are created are done on mice. Also, we very know that human and mice are not exactly interchangeable and hence such headlines ought to have two crucial words in it which are, “ON MICE”.
James Heathers is growing on Twitter and is providing the context to drag these headlines back to reality. Heathers is a postdoctoral researcher in Computational Behavioural Science lab at the Northeastern University. Heathers launched @justsaysinmice on Twitter, the account retweets science coverage with overstated headlines and shouts “IN MICE”.
Heather says that he isn’t criticising or stating the research of scientists wrong but he strongly feels the way, in which the information is being conveyed has to be taken care of. Also, the fact that studies carried upon mice are an important step in research into human health and medicine cannot be denied. But these results cannot be so confidently said for humans too.
“I’ve gotten messages from people with kids who have chronic illnesses, people with parents who have degenerative diseases,” Heathers says. “They don’t like being told five to 10 times a month that something amazing is going to fix their life.”
Due to his diligent approach, his account has required more than 54,000 followers, many of whom are taking a closer look at the articles they see. Inaccurate headlines can erode public trust in both science and journalism, and Heathers has found a simple, amusing way to highlight the worst offenders.
Not that Heathers set out to single-handedly change how news organisations report on preclinical research,
“I’m just one goon with a Twitter account,” he says. “Maybe it doesn’t change a huge amount,” Heathers says. “But if you have enough leverage to get tens or hundreds or thousands of people to look at it every time it happens, then it’s effective. It’s worth doing.