After a long campaign, Michele Bachmann can break out the sparkling cider and the Colbertesque "We're #1" chant because she's finally won something — though the award actually doesn't bode well for the presidential election. The Sense About Science campaign has released its annual roundup of the year's worst offenses against science, and Bachmann is one of the celebrities topping the list. Her remark that the HPV vaccine can make girls" "mentally retarded" is now being treated with the precise amount of credibility it deserves. Bachmann's claim shares top honors with Snooki's theory that whale sperm makes the sea salty and musician Suzi Quatro's idea that the colon is the source of most ailments.
With its yearly list, Sense About Science aims to point out pseudo-science and discourage people from believing everything celebrities say. According to Reuters, when the group consulted with scientists about the biggest myth circulated this year, Bachmann's name came up often. She shares the distinction with Snooki, who said:
I don't really like the beach. I hate sharks, and the water's all whale sperm. That's why the ocean's salty.
Quatro was also singled out for sharing her thoughts on the power of having a squeaky-clean colon:
I used to get a lot of sore throats and then one of my sisters told me that all illnesses start in the colon. I started taking a daily colon cleanser powder mixed with fresh juice every morning and it made an enormous difference.
And Christian Louboutin made the list by recounting a fellow party guest's theory on why high heels make women's feet feel so awesome:
She said that what is sexual in a high heel is the arch of the foot, because it is exactly the position of a woman's foot when she orgasms. So putting your foot in a heel, you are putting yourself in a possibly orgasmic situation.
SAS's managing director Tracey Brown, said, "It's tempting to dismiss celebrity comments on science and health, but their views travel far and wide and, once uttered, a celebrity cancer prevention idea or environmental claim is hard to reverse." It's too sad to think that Snooki actually convinced some people that horny whales are tainting the world's oceans, but it does seem likely that Bachmann's fearmongering reinforced the untrue idea that it's dangerous to have girls vaccinated against HPV. Though if we know Bachmann, she won't be deterred by making this list. In fact, she's probably proud to be recognized for her strong stance against science and all of its tricksy facts.