It comes as no surprise to Legal Insurrection readers as we have been following recent news cycles that sensational #FakeNews items spread rapidly through media, only to have retractions and corrections lag weakly behind.

The same is true of #FakeScience.

I recently blogged that glitter was tagged as the latest environmental scourge:

Most glitter is made from plastic, and the small size of its particles makes it a potential ecological hazard, particularly in the oceans.

“I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic,” said Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University.

Furthermore, yoga pants have also recently been targeted for contributing to microplastics in the aquatic environment.

After crunching the numbers and looking at the scientific qualifications of the environmentalists making these assertions, I concluded that the premise was an amalgam of hogwash and poppycock. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was suspicious.

Nature has just reported that the two Swedish scientists whose publication has been the basis of the microplastics scare have been found guilty of “misconduct in research” in a paper that they published in Science, which has since been retracted.

Marine biologist Oona Lönnstedt and limnologist Peter Eklöv originally reported in their 2016 paper that microplastic particles had negative effects on young fish, including reducing their efforts to avoid predators. misconduct.

…In its decision, announced on 7 December, the board finds Lönnstedt guilty of having intentionally fabricated data; it alleges that Lönnstedt did not conduct the experiments during the period — and to the extent — described in the Science paper.

Eklöv, who was Lönnstedt’s supervisor and co-author, failed to check that the research was carried out as described, the board says. However, by the rules in force at Uppsala at the time of the work, which required that misconduct findings apply only to intentional acts, the board said that Eklöv’s failure to check the research “cannot entail liability for misconduct in research” .

Both researchers, the board concluded, “are guilty of misconduct in research by violating the regulations on ethical approval for animal experimentation”.

Part of the problem for the two scientists is that they could not offer the original data for review.

…Lönnstedt told the investigation that the laptop storing the raw data had been stolen 10 days after the paper was published and a technical glitch meant it had not been backed up on the university server.

The investigation concluded there was a “suspicion that the experiment was never conducted”, because the authors had produced “no more than weak fragments” of original data to back up their paper.

So, if you are looking for that perfect gift to get the independent-minded scientist in your life, who is willing to challenge these climate justice warriors, a pair of glittery yoga pants would be ideal. And don’t forget to use our handy Amazon link!