Songbirds in the city, sugar in the diet, and serious problems in science

Thursday, 17 September 2015 - 8:30am to 9:00am
A Great Tit (Parus major) trying to sing at the right pitch (Photo by Stefan Berndtsson, via Flickr)

Songbirds in the city, such as the Great Tit (Parus major), are learning to sing their mating calls at a higher pitch to cut through the urban clamour. But while this may help them be heard, the different tune may hamper their mating success.

Sugar is today's popular dietary villain, but does it make sense to demonise a single nutrient? Dr Alan Barclay from the Dietitians Association of Australia explains why we shouldn't just follow the latest fads.

Just because a scientific study gets a result, that doesn't mean it's true. The Reproducibility Project tried to replicate 100 psychology papers, and only 36% got a significant result (consistent with a recent high-profile retraction of a paper about canvassing support for same-sex marriage). As John Ioannidis pointed out in 2005, most published research findings are false, and the best way to improve this is to try to remove bias and do larger studies with more statistical significance.

Lost in Science team
Thursday 8:30am to 9:00am
Entertaining news and discussion about research that has impact on society and providing a wide range of science and technology news. Distributed nationally on the Community Radio Network.


Chris Lassig, Stuart Burns and Claire Farrugia.