RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images
Parents are barraged with advice about how to protect their kids — and are made to feel guilty for not following it. But what happens when the studies behind that advice turn out to be iffy? A 2007 paper in the journal Injury Prevention helped shape influential guidelines on how to position kids riding car seats. The researchers found that kids whose seats faced backwards were far less likely to be injured in a crash than those in forward-facing seats. The effect was so dramatic — a five-fold difference, according to the authors — that in 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics said children under 2 should ride in rear-facing seats, a year longer than in previous recommendations from the group.
Not so fast. The article has now been retracted and replaced with a new version, after statisticians found flaws in the original analysis. Although rear-facing seats do seem safer, the effect is much less impressive than the first article claimed. Sometimes the experts do get certain things backwards.
Dynamite and the atomic bomb led to soul-searching among chemists and physicists. Computer scientists have not yet witnessed negative consequences of their work — and behave accordingly.Continue reading »
“Doddypoll,” “dullard,” and “skit-brains” are ripe for a revival.Continue reading »
Two decades after the war, can a nation that learns separately ever be united?Continue reading »
Our horror of chemical agents is one of the great success stories of modern diplomacy.Continue reading »
The bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars.Continue reading »
Why some bills are worth much more than face value.Continue reading »
We’re in a golden age of slang studies.Continue reading »
Meet Paul Willen, a Boston Fed economist preaching a bad-news gospel: We won’t see the crash coming next time, either.Continue reading »
Complaining about monopoly power is all the rage now, but the bigger problem may be monopsony power.Continue reading »