Michael Moyer over at SciAm’s Observations blog made the easy calculations to discover how “physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano” manipulated radiation data to scare folks about the Fukushima accident. After digging into the Centers for Disease Control data, here’s what Moyer found:
a check reveals that the authors’ statistical claims are critically flawed—if not deliberate mistruths.
Only by explicitly excluding data from January and February were Sherman and Mangano able to froth up their specious statistical scaremongering.
This is not to say that the radiation from Fukushima is not dangerous (it is), nor that we shouldn’t closely monitor its potential to spread (we should). But picking only the data that suits your analysis isn’t science—it’s politics. Beware those who would confuse the latter with the former.