Category: Science and the Media

Dichotomous thinking and uncertainty in medicine and science

Medicine is by its very nature uncertain. Unfortunately, humans don't deal well with uncertainty, and our tendency towards dichotomous thinking leads us to think that if we're not absolutely certain about something we don't know anything.

/ November 11, 2019

Shame on HBO! Bill Maher interviews Dr. Jay Gordon and the antivaccine misinformation flows.

Friday night, an old "friend" of the blog, pediatrician and antivaccine apologist Dr. Jay Gordon, made an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher. In a long segment, the antivaccine misinformation flowed fast and furious in a Gish gallop of pseudoscience. WTF, HBO?

/ November 4, 2019

Antivaxxers on Facebook

Facebook is trying to stop anti-vaccine misinformation on its platform. How's that going?

/ October 30, 2019

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hosts a trainwreck of an antivaccine forum in Harlem

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reached out to the African-American Community in Harlem with his antivaccine message. It didn't go so well. First, Rev. Al Sharpton, whose National Action Committee was going to host it, bailed due to negative publicity. Then RFK Jr. was kicked out of his venue during his speech because the event went way over time. RFK Jr.'s efforts do,...

/ October 21, 2019

The Scientific Integrity Act: Protecting science from politics

The proposed federal Scientific Integrity Act supports science and the scientific process as the basis of public policy and aims to protect it from politics, ideology, and financial conflicts of interest.

/ October 10, 2019

A world-renowned placebo researcher asks, “Does placebo research boost pseudoscience?”

Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks,...

/ September 23, 2019

Americans still (mostly) trust scientists and doctors, but there are some troubling warning signs

Given all the denial of the science behind vaccines, GMOs, evolution, and climate science, you might think that Americans in general distrust scientists and physicians. It's actually not true. Trust in scientists and doctors remains high, but there are still areas where mistrust of scientists is a significant problem. What can be done?

/ August 12, 2019
Marianne Williamson

Is today’s generation of children “the sickest generation”?

Presidential candidate and New Age self-help guru Marianne Williamson has been repeating a claim that over half of our children have chronic illness and implying that the expansion of the vaccine schedule since the late 1980s is responsible. But is it true? Are over half of our children sick? Is this "the sickest generation"?

/ August 5, 2019

Zapping Antipsychiatry ECT Nonsense

These days people's perceptions of electroconvulsive therapy have a fictionalized understanding of what it is, and its harms. The reality is quite different.

/ July 25, 2019

Chronic Lyme disease: Fake diagnosis, not fake disease

Believe it or not, an encounter on Twitter actually changed Dr. Gorski's mind. Chronic Lyme disease is a fake diagnosis, not a fake disease.

/ May 20, 2019