There is research and there is “research”


I saw this image on Facebook yesterday and it really resonated with me. I had just been to the Hamilton City Council hearings on their draft annual plan. The anti-fluoride brigade dominated the session.

Many of their submitters proudly declared they had “researched” the subject and found fluoride is really nasty. They were eager to present their “research” findings to the council.

I have long been concerned that many people have cheapened the word “research” by the way they use it. Reading ideologically motivated web sites and magazines is not real research – yet it seems to drive the anti-fluoride community and provide a hubris that they are somehow doing “research.”

By the way, I presented a submission for the making Sense of Fluoride group. Download the linked pdf file if you want to read it.

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3 responses to “There is research and there is “research”

  1. Steve Slott

    Yep. Any time I see a fluoridation comment beginning with “I’ve carefully researched this issue and…….”, I immediately get out my shovel cause I know what’s about to be unloaded.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  2. I’m sympathetic to the point being made but it’s semantics to a certain extent.
    If they said “I’ve surveyed the research”, or “I’ve read the research” they could negate the criticism.
    The real point to be made is that most haven’t the qualifications or expertise to survey and interpret the research properly.


  3. Excellent submission – it covers the key points.
    \Also it is probably just the right length to ensure it is actually read by councillors and not merely flicked through.


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