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Six Tips to Evaluating that Exciting Science Article You Just Read

June 1, 2018
Almost every day you see a new study out there with a major scientific breakthrough or paper telling you that something is bad for you. That's certainly the case with GMOs.  But how do you know what to believe? Is there a way to figure out which headline is telling the truth, and which one is exaggerating to get your clicks? Which one is legit, and which one is just plain bad science? GMO Answers asked University of Minnesota Post Doc Nat Graham to help us navigate this potential minefield in a new post for us at our Medium page.

Here are the suggestions that he provided to guide you through this maze and become a better consumer of science:

1. Consider the source

The first thing I do when I come across a science article online is look to see who it was posted by and who wrote it.

2. Watch the excessive claims

I am always skeptical if an article claims that a single study has solved an issue we’ve been working on for decades.

3. See who is reporting on it

One trick you can use to help you decide if the study is as important as the author claims is to see who all is reporting on it.

4. Are you getting both sides?

This point is more for the politically charged subjects, but it should be considered for any article you read, science or not.

5. What are the experts saying?

One of the easiest ways to figure out if that exciting science article is really that exciting is to see what the scientists in the field are saying.

6. Check the study

As a last line of defense, you can turn to the study itself.

If you remember these tips the next time you come across a science headline you are curious about, you will be well equipped to decide if it is the real deal or not. If you still aren’t sure, that’s ok! Science is always developing so one of the easiest things you can do is wait and see what happens. A truly big development will inspire more research and study down the line.

Click here to read the full post at Medium and explore all of GMO Answers' Medium posts.