A collaborative effort on the part of two maths graduates (working in science) who happen to get upset whenever media outlets do a bad job of reporting science.
This piece is co-written with Sam Clifford. We would like to preface this post by stating that we don’t purport to be experts in science communication nor general reporting standards and practice, but we do care about these things. We are also not, in any way, experts on neurochemistry. Caveat lector.
On Monday ABC News posted an article, derived from a report on the 7:30 program, suggesting that the common antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine) might cause pathological gambling. What prompted this? Did the AMA release a damning report? Did a team of scientists perform some new trials that proved a causal link? No, the ABC spoke to a few people who had become problem gamblers after starting a round of treatment of Effexor, and thought that this was enough to qualify as science journalism.
The article is problematic for a few reasons. Principally, it’s an article masquerading…
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