The Deeply Captured Situation of Sugar

Sarah Stegall:

The combination of bad diets and little to not exercise programs are taking a huge toll on health.

Originally posted on The Situationist:

Mother Jones has a superb new article on the deeply captured situation of sugar.  It begins as follows:

ON A BRISK SPRING Tuesday in 1976, a pair of executives from the Sugar Association stepped up to the podium of a Chicago ballroom to accept the Oscar of the public relations world, the Silver Anvil award for excellence in “the forging of public opinion.” The trade group had recently pulled off one of the greatest turnarounds in PR history. For nearly a decade, the sugar industry had been buffeted by crisis after crisis as the media and the public soured on sugar and scientists began to view it as a likely cause of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Industry ads claiming that eating sugar helped you lose weight had been called out by the Federal Trade Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration had launched a review of whether sugar…

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The Situation of Fraudulent Social Science

Sarah Stegall:

Flawed science… definitely a ‘no-no,’ yet it is happening with more and more frequency.

What drives this behavior? … Promotions? Fame? Ego?

Originally posted on The Situationist:

Stapel

Press Release from Tilburg University:

A culture permeated by ‘flawed science’ surrounded social psychologist Diederik Stapel. This is one reason why his academic misconduct went undetected for so long. The investigation into his practices and the discussion that followed have served as a catalyst for positive change, however. The fraud case has raised international awareness of the importance of scientific integrity. The discussion is now focusing more than ever on replication, data archiving and the general research culture.

This is the conclusion of the Levelt, Noort and Drenth Committees as published in their joint final report on the Stapel case. The report was presented to the Rectors of the universities concerned on November 28. The Committees investigated the periods during which Stapel committed scientific fraud and the publications involved. The Committees identified 55 publications in which it is certain that Stapel committed fraud during his time in Groningen and Tilburg…

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New conference

So along with several other students, I have become actively involved in the arrangement of a conference, entitled Mental Health Tomorrow, lead by Dr. Fred Ernst. The conference is set to take place December 1st at South Padre Island. Speakers will include: Paul Andrews, Peter Breggin, Joanne Cacciatore, Laurie Helgoe, Irving Kirsch, Gretchen LeFever, Jonathan Leo, Ethan Watters, and Robert Whitakers!

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SWPA

What a fantastic trip! Sure, we drove over 12 hours to make to Oklahoma City, just barely dodged clusters of tornadoes, and got stuck in traffic numerous times – the connections and knowledge that we gained is irreplaceable! Most of the events I attended were poster sessions. I really enjoy those. On-lookers can ask as many questions as they are able, can see as many posters as they can walk to, mix-and-mingle with fellow researchers, and still find time to pick up a hot cup of complimentary coffee! How can you beat that? I was unable to see all of the poster sessions. Several of which looked extremely interesting.

Some of the highlights for me were:

  • “To prank or not: How state and private universities view pranks” by Clement, Burns, and Hinkle (Howard Payne University)
  • “Perceptions of appropriate and inappropriate Facebook disclosure” by Roche, Kietinski, and Prichard (Stephen F. Austin State University)
  • “They’re just kids: Prejudice against autistic children” by Nguyen, Woods, and Parker (McNeese State University)
  • “The relation between temporal discounting and criminal thinking” by Khan (University of Central Arkansas)
  • “Chat roulette: There are some things you just don’t share” by Stansbury, Penner, and English (Hendrix College)

In addition to the poster sessions, I also attended two guest speakers’ talks – both were fairly interesting. James Pennebaker’s area of research related to the field of research which hope to one day pursue. Amazingly, he’s from the University of Texas at Austin, my dream school! I am definitely going to be paying more attention to the use of function words in the speech of others. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the talks of Daniel Schacter and Joseph Trimble. I’ll be looking-up their publications very soon.

The conference was excellent. Boy, I missed home tho! I’m very glad to be back in the grind, working on my own research projects. If you are interested in downloading my poster presentations, you may do so at ‘www.gbenham.com’ or request them using the contact form.

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Reblog: In The Jungle Of Languages

In The Jungle Of Languages.

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Spring Break – What break?

Spring break has come and gone. It was a wonderful time to relax and complete the tasks which had been piling up around my ears. I almost felt like it had been a individual work week and not a break. I had a very productive week. Most of my efforts were directed toward my thesis and other research projects. What can I say – I like research!

The highlight was my trip home to Louisiana for a few days to visit family. The drive took forever – I had forgotten how far away it really was! I was very jealous of my dog, Miley, who got to sleep the whole way there. Occasionally, she would wake up and place her head on my shoulder as if she was asking “Are we there yet?” Adorable, right?

The food was great. I guess that ole’ saying is true. There really is nothing like a home-cooked meal. My mom even made dessert, delicious bite-size apple pies – YUM! Spring break must have been timed perfectly because I had arrived just in time for crawfish season. I couldn’t leave without a tray full of well seasoned crawdads. The only food which I am still craving is king cake and gumbo – the first I could get delivered (yes, delivery) and the former I could cook myself (emphasis on the could).

I am very thankful for my family. Being around them, even for only a few days, made my long journey worthwhile. I hope to travel back home in the summer time. I would love to go to the new waterpark across town with my little neice. She would have a blast!

Until then, it’s back to the grind – it’s workin’ time!

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Believable Lies Uncovered

I am currently reading Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic. I’m only about halfway through, and I’m already getting my pitchfork! I am extremely disgusted with the sad truth Whitaker lays out. One of my professors will be hosting a conference next December. Mr. Whitaker will be in attendance. I’ve got to shake this gentleman’s hand!

A must read!

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