Bad Science Watch
Bad Science Watch is an independent non-profit consumer protection watchdog and science advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by countering bad science. We are driven by a vision of a safer, healthier, and more prosperous Canada where critical thinking and sound science are paramount in the making of important societal decisions.
Every day Canadians make choices. Whether we’re considering health care or breakfast cereals we all want to make the right decisions for ourselves and our families. We all want access to the best information to help us decide how we spend our money, and keep ourselves safe and healthy.
Unfortunately, in an increasingly technological and complex world it can be hard to understand our options. Worse, there are people who are happy to exploit this difficulty and use bad science to take advantage of us, promising easy answers or unrealistic results.
Bad science is being used every day in advertising, by politicians, and by special interest groups. This is a major problem, and it affects all of us and the choices we make.
Bad science comes in the form of the media’s frequent misreporting and exaggeration of the results of scientific studies; laws and regulations being devised based on selective interpretation of data; and even plain fabrication and fraud in advertising and industry.
Bad science (sometimes called “pseudoscience”) also describes claims that are made using scientific jargon or presented as being scientific, but in reality lack support and plausibility or are untestable. For example, the scientific words “quantum” and “energy” are often used incorrectly and out of context by people describing practices like homeopathy or therapeutic touch. These pseudoscientific practices are often promoted with unreliable or flimsy evidence such as anecdotes and testimonials, instead of rigorous scientific studies.
We need sound science: a consensus of experts and a weight of evidence accumulated over time using the best practices of the scientific method, particularly high quality, peer-reviewed and replicated tests.
We need sound science to make the best possible decisions. We need sound science for real change.
Our consumer protection regulation is too weak, and existing regulations are not properly enforced by regulatory bodies. Our government is happier to lower standards and pander to special interest groups than make hard decisions and pass laws that benefit all of us.
In an increasingly competitive industry too few journalists have the motivation, let alone the ability, to critically examine the scientific claims in the articles they write. The majority of papers, magazines, and websites seem happy to publish sensational stories to attract readers and sell advertising, with little regard for accuracy, and set up a false balance between two sides of the story that often does not exist in settled science.
Canada needs real change. Bad Science Watch is here to make that change a reality.
We are creating what will be Canada’s most effective and consistently successful force countering bad science, strengthening consumer protection regulation, and advocating for sound science in making important societal decisions.
Please support our work. Help us achieve the change our country needs by donating to Bad Science Watch, and joining the fight, through our Action Alerts mailing list.