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Table 1 Strategies for bending science: categories and examples

From: The handling of evidence in national and local policy making: a case study of alcohol industry actor strategies regarding data on on-premise trading hours and violence in Norway

Overview of strategies for bending science: Categories and examplesa  
Shaping science: Creating research to fit one’s needs; e.g. manipulating study design, research data and methods
Hiding science: Concealing unwelcome information, e.g. pharmaceutical industry hiding results from own research, demonstrating adverse effects of their products
Attacking science: These strategies are often in terms of ‘post-publication damage control’, particularly targeting policy-makers and the public, attacking study methods creating doubt about study validity:
a) Turning reliable research into ‘junk’; e.g. claim research as ‘fatally flawed’ based on limited scientific grounds and voiced by hired experts
b) illegitimate obfuscatory attacks; e.g. raising hypothetical charges about research design that are not supportable and not easily refuted;
c) unbalanced attacks; e.g. allied attack where third parties without industry connection (think tanks) are engaged on the industry friendly side.
Harrassing scientists a) Challenge integrity of researchers, e.g. as publicized attacks
b) Draining resources through lawsuits or unreasonable and burdensome demands for data and documents
Packaging science Assembling expert group to advance favoured outcome, e.g. by commissioning publications summarizing the state of science, which ignores or belittles unwelcome research.
Spinning science Manipulating public perceptions about credible science, e.g. campaigns to generate pressure on decision-makers to discount it.
  1. aBased on McGarity and Wagner, 2008: Bending science. How special interests corrupt public health research