A retraction often marks the end of a dispute over published scientific research. But in the case of a $300 digital fertility tracker marketed by Valley Electronics, it was only the beginning.
After a study on the effectiveness of its Daysy thermometer was retracted, Valley sued Chelsea Polis, a researcher who had publicly lambasted its findings, for defamation. When a federal judge threw out the case, Valley appealed, arguing that Polis went too far by calling the company “unethical” and labeling its study “junk science.” The appeal — set for March 22 — underscores the growing tensions between new, loosely regulated technologies and watchdogs insisting that published claims be supported by rigorous science.
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