How does someone become a conspiracy thinker?

A HEALTHY DOSE OF SUSPICION Until recently, conspiracy thinkers were mainly studied to find out what derailed them. But a new generation of researchers is taking them more seriously. 'The important thing is not whether the theories are correct, but where the distrust is coming from." Originally published in Dutch in EOS Magazine 20-2-2018 The 1990s. The age of The X-Files and other tv series full of dark practices, extraterrestrial life and government cover-ups. The young Jaron Harambam (1983), who

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First malaria vaccine rolled out in Africa—despite limited efficacy and nagging safety concerns

A SHOT OF HOPE Published in Science Magazine, November 29, 2019 MALAWI—In a small room at the Phalula Health Centre in southern Malawi's Balaka district, two young mothers are sitting on a wooden bench, each with a 5-month-old baby on their lap. Across from them, behind a desk, sits Alfred Kaponya, a community health worker. A colleague is busy preparing a vaccine, tapping the syringe to dislodge bubbles. Kaponya explains the procedure to the women, writes down the vaccines' serial

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It’s a beautiful child. Why did he die?

After the stillbirth of their son, journalists Jop de Vrieze and Zvezdana Vukojevic are in search of answers within the Dutch system of natal care. Gynecologist: ”Could we have saved him? Maybe, yes.”   “Couldn’t you have called sooner?” Fifteen minutes earlier I stepped into our midwife practice, because I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt my unborn son moving in my belly. At first, I almost got sent home, both consultation rooms were occupied. “Just lie down

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What science reporters should know about meta-analyses before covering them

As science journalists who take our job seriously, we’ve learned a couple of rules by heart: never present a correlation as a causation, always check whether a sample is representative and never rely on a single study. As the expression goes: one swallow doesn’t make a summer. These are all good starting points. But they are far from making us unimpeachable in our reporting. As a result of the third principle, we tend to rely on review studies. More specifically:

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What We Can (and Can’t) Learn From Replicating Scientific Experiments (Undark)

A modern day do-over of a mid-20th century pupillometry experiment raises the question: What should we make of a failed replication? December 6, 2018 by Jop de Vrieze Anyone who enters the field of pupillometry — the study of pupil size — stumbles upon one classic research paper: “Pupil Size as Related to Interest Value of Visual Stimuli.” The study was published in Science in 1960 by psychologists Eckhard H. Hess and James M. Polt of the University of Chicago.

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