Epidemiologists Vote to
Keep Doing Junk Science

Epidemiology Monitor (October 1997)

An estimated 300 attendees a recent meeting of the American College of Epidemiology voted approximately 2 to 1 to keep doing junk science!

Specifically, the attending epidemiologists voted against a motion proposed in an Oxford-style debate that "risk factor" epidemiology is placing the field of epidemiology at risk of losing its credibility.

Risk factor epidemiology focuses on specific cause-and-effect relationships--like heavy coffee drinking increases heart attack risk. A different approach to epidemiology might take a broader perspective--placing heart attack risk in the context of more than just one risk factor, including social factors.

Risk factor epidemiology is nothing more than a perpetual junk science machine.

But as NIEHS epidemiologist Marilyn Tseng said "It's hard to be an epidemiologist and vote that what most of us are doing is actually harmful to epidemiology."

But who really cares about what they're doing to epidemiology. I thought it was public health that mattered!

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