Saturday, October 10, 2020

David Kyle Johnson Ph.D:Yes, Masks Work: Debunking the Pseudoscience

Professor Tim Anderson is debating Professor Dennis Rancourt tonight in an event staged by the Off-Guardian. I hope Tim got my tweet in time, where I sent him the article below, but he's probably fully clued up on it all anyway.

Dennis Rancourt, a physics professor, wrote an article saying that masks did not work, but when you clicked on the science articles he referred to, they said the opposite. How did he make such a crazy mistake, David Kyle Johnson has a few theories?

When my colleague asked for scientific evidence to back this denial, the poster directed her to an article by Denis Rancourt, entitled “Masks Don’t Work.” And, indeed, Rancourt’s paper cited eight peer-reviewed essays, all from reputable journals.  But when she actually clicked on the links provided, she found something very curious.  None of the studies cited concluded what Rancourt says they did.  For example, six of the eight studies measured the effectiveness of N95 respirators compared to surgical masks—not, as Rancourt implied, the effectiveness of wearing a mask vs. not wearing a mask.

A full debunking of Rancourt’s entire article would take more space and time than I have here (I have published one here), but at this point one would be justified in concluding that his entire argument is bunk.

Psychology Today 

David Kyle Johnson Ph.D:Yes, Masks Work: Debunking the Pseudoscience


Peter Pan said...

Cloth masks, with air leakages around and through them, don't work. We don't have to wait for science to debunk what is clearly political.

Odie said...

There is good enough epidemiological evidence by now that cloth and surgical face masks limit the spread of Coronavirus. Here is a Nature article from 4 days ago that summarizes well a large number of reports and studies that have been published recently:

Overall, the minor inconvenience of wearing a face mask when being in public is by far outweighed by the known and suspected benefits in limiting virus transmission.

Peter Pan said...

And years from now, most of those studies will be invalidated. Masks are being used for purposes they were not designed for. They are being worn in ways that differ from recommended usage. Mask policy could have been based on manufacturer's data. But no, seat-of-the-pants crisis management requires we run an uncontrolled experiment.

This would be relatively harmless if politicians wouldn't use mask wearing as a reason to relax border controls.