Category: Commentary

Inoculating – Against Misinformation

A new study confirms what we suspected - you can't just correct misinformation with information, you have to expose the tactics of deception so people can recognize them for themselves.

/ May 10, 2017

Faking Peer-Review

A major cancer journal just retracted 107 papers for faking peer-review, bringing the total for that publisher to 450. How did this happen, and how do we prevent it in the future?

/ April 26, 2017

Responding to SBM Critics

A response to a critic of SBM, and setting the record straight on our actual positions regarding evidence and the practice of medicine.

/ April 19, 2017

Spinal Manipulation for Back and Neck Pain: Does It Work? Annotated.

Spinal Manipulation for Back and Neck Pain: Does It Work? You would think it does if you read the article but not if you actually read the literature.

/ February 17, 2017

Positive Psychology and Health

The idea that a positive attitude can lead to better health is widespread. But is it based on good evidence?

/ November 7, 2016

The Public’s Love-Hate Relationship with Technology

There are many complex factors driving up the cost of healthcare, but one major factor is increasing medical technology. Often new expensive technologies provide incremental, or even questionable, additional benefits but can dramatically increase the cost of health care. This is especially true of in-hospital treatments. There are also, of course, medical technologies that provide significant benefits, and others that improve our...

/ July 27, 2016

Thinking With Your Emotions About Medicine

The mental pathway of least resistance, what psychologists often refer to as the “default mode” of human thought, is to go with our “gut feelings.” We evolved emotions, heuristics, and cognitive biases partly so that we could make quick judgments that are good enough and err on the side of survival. This can be adaptive – if we smell something rotten we...

/ July 13, 2016

The New Chiropractic. And I thought SBM had an uphill battle.

Over at the Society for Science-Based Medicine we have Sisyphus as the logo on the website. Sisyphus, as you may know, is the Greek who had to push a boulder up a hill every day, the archetypal metaphor for futile labor. It was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, but only a bit. As quackademia proudly expands I sometime feel...

/ July 8, 2016

About Herbs: an app to avoid

Medicine has an intellectual hierarchy. Supposedly the best and the brightest are in the academic medical centers and are the thought leaders in their field. Those of us lower in the hierarchy are well aware of some of the warts present on our betters, but I would expect those at the top would adhere to the highest intellectual and ethical standards. People...

/ June 24, 2016

The Harm of Integrative Medicine: A Patient’s Perspective

I was diagnosed with cancer and entered treatment, at which point I directly experienced both excellent scientific care, and also the utter nonsense that is alternative medicine, rebranded as integrative medicine. Here are my reflections on the experience.

/ June 12, 2016