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Table 2 Overview of handling of evidence by the industry observed in the present study

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

Strategies for bending sciencea Any evidence in present study?
Shaping science No
Hiding science No
Attacking science: Yes
a) Claim research as ‘fatally flawed’ based on limited scientific grounds and voiced by hired experts
b) Illegitimate obfuscatory attacks
c) Allied attack where third parties without industry connection (think tanks) are engaged on the industry friendly side.
a) Industry commissioned reports characterized the RN-study as having ‘large and important weaknesses’
b) Cherry picking data, selecting anecdotal evidence supporting the industry’s views
c) RN-study criticized by liberal politician in think-tank website
Harrassing scientists
a) Challenge integrity of researchers, e.g. as publicized attacks
Yes (not B, see Table 1)
a) RN-study researchers accused of lip-serving the Minister of Health. (The police were also accused of manipulating routine data).
Packaging science Yes
Commissioning publications summarizing the state of science, which ignores or belittles unwelcome research. The hospitality industry commissioned two reports; both ignoring or belittling unfavourable evidence.
Spinning science Yes
Manipulating public perceptions about credible science, framing the issue Systematic framing in media: - of research evidence as flawed and therefore to be discounted in the policy-making; − constructing disagreement between “experts”; − emphasizing the complexity of violence and alternative ways to curb violence
  1. aBased on McGarity and Wagner, 2008: Bending science. How special interests corrupt public health research