January 02, 2023 from The DisInformation Chronicle

Hello readers,

Welcome to the new year. Almost two years back, I noticed that my news feed was filling up with too much disinformation and misleading news about science and medicine. Some of this was due to polarization in America—with people picking and choosing facts based on their political preferences—but PR companies and special interest groups were also promoting misleading news.

I started The DisInformation Chronicle with friends and help from a silent editor to start a community of experts and others interested in the problem of misinformation in science and medicine; we’ve since grown from a couple hundred subscribers to almost 15,000 readers.

In several dozens reports and interviews, we’ve covered a wide range of subjects. Here are a few:

  • Lack of journalistic professionalism in the science writing community;

  • PR influence in government agencies;

  • Corporate ghostwriting to influence national policy;

  • Poor ethics in science and medical journals;

  • Government misinformation put out during the COVID pandemic;

  • Ghostwriting in journals and newspaper essays;

  • Nonprofits secretly funded by industry;

  • PR influence inside government agencies;

  • Misinformation in the media;

  • Fossil fuel industry internal documents on climate change;

  • Corruption in federal agencies.

Stories in The DisInformation Chronice have been co-published by DeSmog, the Journal of Scientific Practice and Integrity (JoSPI), and the Brownstone Institute. News first reported here has also been picked up in numerous media outlets around the world—some in languages I can’t read.

However, I’m still trying to grow the paid readership to keep growing this community, so please take out a paid subscription.

The DisInformation Chronicle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Below are highlights from last year:

Why Do People Not “Trust the Science”? Because Like All People, Scientists Are Not Always Trustworthy

Will science publisher Taylor and Francis do anything about an unethical article that misdirected criticism about researchers doing dangerous virus research and apparently skated past peer review?


Scientists-For-Hire Synthesize Artificial Research to Protect Astroturf

When parents question if children should roll around in dirty old tires and chemical grass, astroturf scientists have real fake answers.

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Monsanto’s Ghostwriting to Influence Science and Media

While most ghostwriting scandals in science involve physicians, the agrichemical company ran a unique and sophisticated campaign to promote GMO technology and attack critics.

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When a UNC Grad Student Confronted Dr. Ralph Snyderman for Aiding the Sacklers’ Opioid Scheme, the Duke University Professor Threatened Legal Action

Duke’s Press Office: “I can’t comment on Ralph Snyderman.”


Lies, Damned Lies, and Fact Checks

Hundreds of fact-checking “experts” gathered in Oslo, Norway to stop false claims on the Internet, but why won’t they fix their own misinformation?

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Former CDC Director Robert Redfield On Inside Battles With Anthony Fauci, And Why Classified Information Will Point to a Lab Accident in Wuhan


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Weber Shandwick Provides PR for Moderna and Pfizer, While Staffing the CDC’s Vaccine Office

A potential $50 million contract allows PR firm to be “embedded at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as part of the Division of Viral Diseases team.”


PR Firm Repping Vaccine Manufacturers Now Promotes Doctors Group Denouncing Alleged COVID Vaccine Disinformation

Among the many social changes wrought by the pandemic, physician certification groups now clamor to defend the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Punching Down: How the "anti-disinformation" movement worked with Big Tech to protect Big Pharma

Guest essay by Andrew Lowenthal, expert in digital rights and open technology.

Welcome to 2023, and please set up a paid subscription to keep this conversation going and out community growing into the future.

The DisInformation Chronicle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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