Usually the media are the ones to spin the science findings of reports and completely misrepresent the finding of research.  Today I think I might have heard that being reversed on the radio.  It was concerning the latest research into Badger culling and the spread of bovine TB.  The researcher came on the radio and stated that the research showed that culling was not effective at stopping the spread of TB.  When the reporter probed for more information the researcher stated something along the lines of…..The culling seemed effective to begin with but then the spread of TB increased again after culling was reduced……….

Eh, the immediate thought is that this might be the expected and obvious outcome; kill the badgers and the spread slows…..stop killing the badgers and the spread picks up again.  The reporter then pointed this out and hinted at the flaws in this (yeah BBC).  The researcher then seemed to change tack and stated the research showed that the culling was not as efficient in terms of cost when compared with alternatives.  She, later on, mentioned that research is being done on vaccination.  It seems to me that it is likely that vaccination (catch the animal and vaccinate) is more expensive than culling (catch an animal then kill it).  The cost of developing and producing the vaccination probably costs a bit, and I would imagine that you increase your chances of catching the same badger twice, and wasting time, when you are vaccinating instead of killing.  So I wonder if the researcher was saying that culling is less efficient that doing nothing other that killing infected cattle, which is the only other alternative I can think of.

Anyway, I have done my own scientific research by surveying my class about the likelihood of these baby badgers being too cute to carry disease.

The results are that they are too cute.  These results show a high statistical significance.

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