What is “junk science”?
Junk science is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special interests and hidden agendas.
Examples of special interests include:
- The media may use junk science to produce sensational headlines and programming, the purpose of which is to generate increased readership and viewership. More readers and viewers mean more revenues from advertisement. The media may also use junk science to advance personal or organizationsl social and political agendas.
- Personal injury lawyers, sometimes referred to simply as trial lawyers (as in the American Association of Trial Lawyers or ATLA), may use junk science to extort settlements from deep-pocketed businesses or to bamboozle juries into awarding huge verdicts.
- Social and political activists may use junk science to achieve social and political change.
- Government regulators may use junk science to expand regulatory their authority, increase their budgets o advance the political agenda of elected officials.
- Businesses may use junk science to bad-mouth competitors’ products, make bogus claims about their own products, or to promote political or social change that would increase sales and profits.
- Politicians may use junk science to curry favor with special interest groups, to be politically correct or to advance their own personal political beliefs.
- Individual scientists may use junk science to achieve fame and fortune.
- Individuals who are ill (real or imagined) may use junk science to blame others for causing their illness. Individuals may also use junk science to seek fame and fortune.
CAUTION: Being wrong is not the same as being guilty of junk science.
The scientific method calls for trial-and-error until the truth is determined. More than likely, this means many trials and many errors. Scientists learn from their errors. So wrong science is part of the scientific method. (See Junk Science Judo, pp. 43-44)
Wrong science becomes junk science only when its obvious or easily-determined flaws are ignored and it is then used to advance some special interest.
What is JunkScience.com?
Since April 1, 1996, JunkScience.com has led the fight against junk science, including being named:
- a “Top Resource” and one of the “Most Popular” health news web sites by Yahoo!;
- “One of the 50 Best Web Sites” by Popular Science (August 1998), which stated: “Noted junk science expert Steven Milloy leads a spirited debate over the latest ‘scientific’ revelations regarding environmental, health and nutritional hazards, among other topics”; and
- a “Hot Pick” by Science, April 1998: Vol. 280 no. 5361 p. 171., which noted: “Self-appointed bad science debunker Steve Milloy skewers studies on everything from the risks of diet drugs to global warming on The Junk Science Home Page (http://www.junkscience.com/). Although Milloy’s acerbic wit makes some researchers’ blood boil, others find many of his points valid—or at least entertaining.
Who publishes JunkScience.com?
JunkScience.com is published by JunkScience.com, Inc. It is edited by Steve Milloy.
Who is Steve Milloy?
Steve Milloy is a recognized leader in the fight against junk science with more than 25 years of accomplishment and experience. Credited with popularizing the term “junk science,” Mr. Milloy is the founder and publisher of JunkScience.com and, from 2000-2009, wrote the popular “Junk Science” column for FOXNews.com. He is an expert on energy, environmental and public health issues, a public affairs consultant, author, TV/radio commentator and public speaker. Milloy was trained in natural sciences, biostatistics, law and securities regulation. He has also been an attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a broker-dealer; and a registered securities principal, investment fund manager, non-profit executive, print/web columnist on science and business issues, and coal company executive.
BOOKS & ARTICLES
Mr. Milloy has authored the following books:
- Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, Regnery 2009 — an Amazon.com Top 100 seller;
- Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams, Cato Institute, 2001;
- Silencing Science, with co-author Michael Gough, Cato Institute, 1999 — an Amazon.com Top 100 seller;
- Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research, Cato Institute, 1995;
- Science-Based Risk Assessment: A Piece of the Superfund Puzzle, National Environmental Policy Institute, 1995;
Mr. Milloy has authored over 600 articles/columns published in major newspapers/web sites, including the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, FoxNews.com, Financial Times, National Post (Canada), USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, New York Post, New York Sun and other print and web outlets.
- B.A. in Natural Sciences, Johns Hopkins University;
- Master of Health Sciences (Biostatistics), Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health;
- Juris Doctorate, University of Baltimore; and
- Master of Laws (Securities regulation) from the Georgetown University Law Center.
The following notable individuals and/or organizations have endorsed Mr. Milloy’s work:
Pre-eminent Scientists and Public Health Heroes
- Philip Abelson, Phd, Editor, Science, 1962-1984, winner of the National Medal of Science, Co-discoverer of Neptunium. “… Milloy is one of a small group who devotes time, energy and intelligence to the defense of truth and science. His current book deserves widespread reading, quotation and responsive action,”‘ from the back cover of Junk Science Judo.
- Donald H. Henderson, M.D., Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 1977-1990, Director, UN Global Smallpox Eradication Program, National Medal of Science. “(Milloy’s Silencing Science is) a perceptive and eminently readable book… remarkable insights into the manipulation of science for other than laudable ends,” from the back cover of Silencing Science.
- Frederick Seitz, PhD, First President, National Academy of Sciences. “This valuable book (Junk Science Judo) deals in a thorough manner with one of the serious scientific problems of our times, the intentional distortion of the methods of science in attempts to reach conclusions that are not justified by qualified scientific research…,” from the back cover of Junk Science Judo.
Statesmen & Business Leaders
- Steve Forbes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes. “Green Hell is the `inconvenient truth’ on extremist, growth-killing environmentalism. A must-read for those interested in keeping America free and prosperous,” from the back cover of Green Hell. About the Free Enterprise Action Fund: “… it’s precept is a sound one,” from “Fact and Comment,” Forbes, April 24, 2006.
- Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management. “Green Hell… is a brash and gutsy repudiation of the environmental dogma now integrated into almost every aspect of modern life… Throughout this bold, tightly written, well-researched book, Milloy illustrates the overriding goal of the Green movement: Not to preserve nature for man, but to protect nature from man. Green Hell astutely unmasks the dangerous ramifications of that philosophy,” from Not Easy — or Smart — Being Green, May 9, 2009.
- Vaclav Klaus, President of the European Union and President of the Czech Republic. “(Green Hell) describes why the world can’t afford to fall for global warming alarmism and environmental hysteria. Steve Milloy shows how to avoid the environmentalists’ vision of our future,” from the back cover of Green Hell.
- Barron’s. (Green Hell is a) “convincing book,” from Big Questions, Five Good Answers, February 5, 2011.
- Fred Barnes, Executive Editor, the Weekly Standard. “Green Hell explains why Americans can’t afford to fall for Al Gore’s `the debate is over’ line on global warming. While we’re all for the environment, Green Hell explains why we need to oppose the environmentalists,” from the back cover of Green Hell.
- Neil Cavuto, Fox News. “Steve Milloy wrote the definitive book on [modern environmentalism]…”, September 1, 2011. “[Milloy] fill[s] a valuable role [debunking junk science], October 31, 2012.
- Peter Foster, National Post (Canada) columnist: “‘Thank Gaia for Steve Milloy…,” from “Breaking out of green hell”, June 19, 2009.
- Daniel Gross, Slate. “Milloy… made a spectacle at the annual meeting of Goldman Sachs,” from “Thank you for investing,” Slate.com (May 4, 2006)
- Investor’s Business Daily. “… so long as (the corruption of science) continues, it’s a threat to future discoveries of real merit as well as to our freedoms. Daylight helps, as does transparency-encouraging critical websites, such as Steve Milloy’s junkscience.com,” from a A Banner Day for Junk Science, January 6, 2011.
- Nuclear Street:“Sometimes a guy has to step back, take a long deep breath and reassess everything he thought he knew as fact. Some people conduct this exercise without even thinking, critically examining all that floats their way with the dispassionate eyes of an objective observer. Christopher Columbus did it. Galileo Galilei did it. Charles Darwin did it. Albert Einstein did it. And the world has not been the same since. Now, Steve Milloy does it…,” from NS Book Review of Green Hell, July 2, 2009.
- Charles Payne, FOX News. ‘Insightful.’ January 30, 2015.
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Kudos to JunkScience.com’s Steve Milloy for debunking suspect blame-mankind research behind demonization of humanity’s mercury emissions,” from … Vapors over vapors, April 21, 2011.
- Popular Science. “… made an impact,” from “The Battle,” July 2012.
- Rolling Stone. Milloy is a “leading debunker” of global warming alarmism, from the November 17, 2005 issue.
- John Stossel, correspondent, ABC News and Fox Business News. “I wish Junk Science Judo had been available when I was doing daily consumer reports. It hits the nail on the head about the media’s role in health scares and scams. I wish all consumer and reporters would read it,” from the back cover of Junk Science Judo.
- Washington Post. Junkscience.com is “popular.” (Feb. 21, 1999, October 12, 1999).
- RepublicanAmerican (Waterbury CT). “The invaluable Steve Milloy…,” (from “Asthma Illusions Fading,” January 15, 2013).
- Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post. JunkScience is “well read.” (Twitter, February 18, 2013).
- Kelly Vance, East Bay Express. Milloy is one of the “slickest” deniers.” (March 10, 2015).
- Inside Climate News. Milloy is on the ‘Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists.’ March 12, 2015.
- Catholic Online. Milloy is an “A-list climate change denier.” March 15, 2015.
- Linda S. Birnbaum, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences & National Toxicology Program. Milloy has “obvious dedication to scientific integrity,” from a personal letter, June 21, 2012.
- Jane Orient, Executive Director, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. “[Milloy] has written so eloquently about rational risk assessment, debunked damaging myths,” from “Investing in Sin,” The New Republic (July 3, 2006).
- Belle Monappa Hegde, renowned physician and former Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University (India). “[Science Without Sense is] A beautiful small booklet by a leading American epidemiologist, Steven Milloy…”, British Medical Journal, October 21, 2004. See also BMJ (February 1, 2001).
- Marc Morano, ClimateDepot.com. “(Milloy is) the godfather,” from This Man Wants to Convince You Global Warming Is a Hoax, Esquire, March 30, 2010.
- Dick Morris, Fox News commentator and political consultant: “Regardless of whether you believe global warming is a fraud, the fact is that the current depression, the past spike in oil prices, and the coming technology of electric cars are all going to solve whatever problem exists. Liberals want to use climate change as an excuse to take over the economy and regulate everything and this book exposes their plans,” from the back cover of Green Hell.
- Penn Gillette of Penn & Teller. “(Silencing Science) is a way funny book written by heroes,” from the back cover of Silencing Science.
- Rich Trzupek, FrontPageMag.com. “…Milloy is a hero. Using his website, junkscience.com, to deliver his message, Milloy has been a key soldier in the front lines of the battle to maintain the kind of healthy skepticism that is a critical component of scientific endeavor. It’s not overstating the case to say that Milloy, along with Climate Audit’s Steve McIntyre and Joe Bast’s Heartland Institute, laid the groundwork for an increasingly skeptical public to ask the tough, uncomfortable questions that are making global warming zealots squirm…”, from “The Heretics”.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “[JunkScience.com] definitely provides ‘food for thought'”, from US EPA, Web Site Guide to Global Climate Change, July 1999.
- Wikipedia. “Milloy has popularized the use of the term ‘junk science’ in public debate…” from Wikipedia entry for Steven Milloy.