In N.F.L., Deeply Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Big Tobacco

This article connects to some interesting TOK issues. Clearly we can discuss the ethics, or lack of ethics, in the NFL’s manipulation of data to disprove conclusions that undermine its business.

This also illustrates how math can help us understand and possibly prove complex issues like the connection between football and health issues like concussions and CTE.  Rather than observing or intuiting a causal relationship between two phenomenon, we have to use math along with the methods of proof in the natural sciences to establish truth and construct knowledge. By misrepresenting data, one might reach incorrect conclusions, which seems to have been the case here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/sports/football/nfl-concussion-research-tobacco.html

A second article about how flawed data undermines our ability to construct knowledge.

“Researchers primed to believe that the NFL has concussions under control, a data set that’s missing important information, and publication in a journal edited by a consultant to the NFL — it looks more like an attempt to create evidence for a predetermined message than good science. But even if we throw out these studies, we can’t yet conclude that football inevitably leads to lasting brain damage.”

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nfls-shoddy-science-means-we-know-even-less-about-concussions/

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