Naomi Most, a contributor at Noisebridge, has post about the gap between the perceived and proven health benefits of red wine. She puts it in context by pointing out that the quickest way to get press for anything resembling science is to publish results that seem to vindicate a human vice. The resulting press-bob-bomb is seldom commensurate with the significance of the finding. My pet peeve is nature/nurture research that “explains” gender gaps, but that’s a different story, told beautifully by Terri Oda.
Anyway, here is my favorite line from Naomi’s post:
Red wine is being used to “sell” scientific research about a phytochemical (resveratrol) which just happens to appear in a minute concentration in the beverage, much the way images of scantily clad young women are used to sell beer, especially in places where such women appear in minute concentrations.
Love, love, love.