Saturday, February 17, 2024

Be both Anthony G. and Αντώνης Γ. Καφάτος as a scientist and have an ORCiD identifier

Anthony G. Kafatos is a co-author on many papers that are part of the "Seven Countries Study". When you want to know about the many papers he was involved in, it helps when they are all linked. The papers known at Wikidata are linked to his item. When papers are still known as a string, an "author name string", they are hard to spot AND they may be spelled differently AND even be in a different script.

Anthony was also spelled as Antony.. Both work in the same department at the same University making it safe to consider them the same. Someone has to decide, this time it was me. That is not great because what do I know. One alternative is that nothing gets decided but it is much better when scientists themselves are involved.

Data is an ecosystem. Best is when any and all scientists have one ORCiD identifier and authorise the institutions they trust to update their profile with their latest and greatest work. This has profound implications. This data will now be available for many applications including Wikidata. It will become easier to understand what the neutral point of view on a subject is.

This is the Scholia for Mr Kafatos. At this time there are 18 links to papers on the "Seven Nations Study", four more than for Mr Ancel Keys the architect of the study. 

Thanks, GerardM

Friday, February 16, 2024

Food for thought; statistics and Wikidata - DONT BE A KARELIAN

The lumberjacks in Karelia Finland got all the physical activity you can expect for lumberjacks, they looked the part and they died in droves before their fifties. This was as well known in the world of health scientists as well as the fact that in Japan people had the least problems with heart failure. Epidemiologists started one of the most famous studies, the "Seven Countries Study" to learn about these phenomenon. The Karelians ate a lot of meat and butter, this caused arthrosclerosis and it was identified as the cause of all these early demises. 

The Finish government wanted this to change, the lumberjacks loved their meat but their wives loved their hubbies more and they started them on a different diet. The government did a double blind research project and the fine Karelian gentlemen started to outperform their fellow Fins... As a consequence the Finnish government promoted healthy food to all Fins.

In Wikidata we have MANY scientific publications with "Seven Countries Study" in the name of the publications. With more than 100 such publications tagged, many authors, publications and subjects have become apparent. This can be seen in the Scholia for the Seven Countries Study. Statistically it is likely that when another 100 publications are added, the patterns found may slightly differ. Additional authors may be represented but the relative weight of existing authors is likely to remain the same. 

Ancel Keys is the architect of the Seven Countries Study, he authored both papers and books with many publications and publishers and he collaborated with many of the most prominent scientists in his time. The results of all these published studies are profound and not only for the Karelian lumberjacks. Not everybody is happy with the results. Influencers have us believe that Mr Keys misrepresented the facts of the study. However, when you look at the co-author graph, Mr Keys is not really central to all the collaborations. It is also obvious that there were many different publishers involved. 

The meat of the matter is obvious. Don't be a Karelian of centuries past, be smart, be there for your nearest and dearest and understand that a traditional Japanese diet or the Mediterranean diet gives you more mileage. The Seven Countries Study had a run for over fifty years, it knows about what people ate and the mortality that is the consequence of their diet. You can ignore this at your own peril :)

Thanks, GerardM

Saturday, January 20, 2024

A #Netflix documentary, #Youtube reviews and a more #NPOV @Wikidata reaction

I really enjoyed watching "You are what you eat", a Netflix four part documentary based on research of the differences found between a vegan and an omnivorous diet in identical twins. The results of this research can be found in a paper called "Cardiometabolic Effects of Omnivorous vs Vegan Diets in Identical Twins". 

The documentary has several story lines, one is about the research itself, another informs about participants in the study and finally we are informed about the industry that produces our food. The chosen participants are a vehicle for the story, there were chefs, athletes cheese aficionados and people from other cultures (seen from an US-American perspective). What people eat is produced so we are informed about the food industry. The picture painted is not pretty but based in facts.

On YouTube there are several "reviews" and now some reviews as well. All of the "reviews" are really disappointing because they express expectations that are not realistic. The program is NOT about only the science and it is NOT giving equal weight to the production of fish or meat. The results of the research are favorable to a vegan diet and the documentary provides information on what is available when less or no meat is eaten. It is why we learn about the quality of vegan cheese and meat products. Great cheeses and a biltong that is not meat based are explored by participants of the study. 

I found the YouTube "reviews" disappointing because they came across as hatchet jobs. When they consider the documentary biased, it finds its basis in the bias of the reviewer and not necessarily on the results of the research. When it is said that these reviews were requested by "so many people", it feels like that people in the agro business exposed their hand. 

Wikipedia has the article on the documentary and it has an article on the principal author of the paper. They have an appropriate neutral point of view.

My Wikidata reaction is that I added the paper to Wikidata, I added many of its authors and many of the papers cited as references and to be brutally honest, seen from within Wikidata it looks awful, it is one dimensional, it is unusable. However thanks to tools the full impact of available information becomes available. Scholia is my preferred tools for science. This is the Scholia for the paper.

Saturday, January 06, 2024

A Scholia for "water fluoridation"

Some topics are poisonous. People have a set point of view; hell or high water they will budge from their position. Even Wikipedia with its "neutral point of view" makes no dent in their preoccupation. So why argue?

Wikipedia is known for its references to sources and Wikidata is great at connecting these sources together. Particularly scholarly papers with a "DOI" may link to authors, cites works and works citing a paper. When a paper is of particular interest, you can expand the information in all these ways.

So I did not get into an argument about "water fluoridation", I included papers mentioned to Wikidata. I linked some papers with "water fluoridation" in its title to the subject. I attributed papers to authors including one by the Surgeon General of the United States..

Everything that was done on the subject is reflected in the Scholia for the subject. It suffices for me as my participation in an endless argument.

Thanks, GerardM