Bias and research results

Earlier today, I blogged about the problem of sourcing material:  information is only as good as the publisher’s knowledge and honesty.  It appears that Elizabeth Warren, whom Obama unilaterally (that is, without Congressional oversight) appointed to meddle in consumer financing, is guilty of letting ideology corrupt research.  I wouldn’t doubt it.  As you all know, I don’t like her, going back to my time as a student suffering her incoherent teaching.

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  • expat

    I have often wondered whether there is a distinction made between health-related medical expenses and cosmetic medical expenses. I am suspicious that when it suits their argument, the health care lefties might include breast implants and face lifts in their figures. Especially in the LA area, this could be a major distortion.

  • Bookworm

    Good question, expat.  I often wondered about the data sought.  Here, in Marin, we have unusually high rates of breast cancer.  I’ve long concluded that the reasons include delayed or no child bearing, abortions, birth control pill use, and late onset (in the 70s and 80s), all of which are behavior and disease patterns one sees in an affluent liberal population.  When the country sent a survey around to Marin women, it didn’t ask about any of those things.  It asked only about power lines and bacon consumption.  (That’s a slight simplification, but not.)  As Lord Peter Wimsey said, it’s a gross error for a scientist to theorize in advance of his data.  It’s an even grosser error for the scientist, on purpose, to limit data to support his theory.

  • Ymarsakar

    ”  It’s an even grosser error for the scientist, on purpose, to limit data to support his theory.”
    But that’s what a technocracy ends up being. When scientists make political policy, they naturally must become un-scientific in their SOP.