Category: Science and the Media

The Misinformation Dilemma

Is there a workable solution to the social media dilemma?

/ January 19, 2022

Everything old is new again

Since the pandemic hit, I've frequently said things like, "Everything old is new again", referring to the antivaccine movement in the age of COVID-19. As 2022 dawned, I thought I'd expand a bit on what I mean. Is there a term for déjà vu, but what I'm seeing now is amplified a thousand-fold? Proponents of science-based medicine have been warning us for...

/ January 3, 2022

Poor Science Reporting and Premature Enthusiasm

Press releases often outpace the data. Here are some examples of over-enthusiastic reporting on extremely preliminary research.

/ December 21, 2021
Carl Sagan

John Ioannidis and the Carl Sagan effect in science communication about COVID-19

We have been critical about John Ioannidis over a number of his statements about the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he's done it again, producing a poor-quality paper whose unwritten assumptions suggest that the Carl Sagan effect, in which scientists are penalized professionally by their peers for becoming popular science communicators, still holds considerable sway in science and medicine.

/ December 13, 2021

The Dawning of Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM)

For over 10 years, Friends of Science in Medicine has been fighting quackery, fraud, and pseudoscience in Australia.

/ December 4, 2021

Those Joe Namath Medicare Commercials

Joe Namath is promoting Medicare Advantage Plans on TV. Some of what he says is misleading. Here's the rest of the story.

/ November 9, 2021
The BMJ's Facebook logo

What the heck happened to The BMJ?

Last week, The BMJ published an "exposé" by Paul Thacker alleging patient unblinding, data falsification, and other wrongdoing by a company running three sites for the massive clinical trial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It was a highly biased story embraced by antivaxxers, with a deceptively framed narrative and claims not placed into proper context, leading me to look into the broader...

/ November 8, 2021
Hacker

How we got here with political and health misinformation: The case of “Hacker X” and Mike Adams

Ars Technica recently published a story about Hacker X, who helped Mike Adams expand his online empire of health fraud into an empire of fake news and political disinformation, thus intertwining health and political misinformation into the deadly combination we see now.

/ October 25, 2021

Experts Abused for Talking to the Public

Nature survey finds that most media experts talking about COVID are facing threats and attacks.

/ October 20, 2021
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

State medical boards vs. COVID-19 misinformation, an update

The disinformation epidemic about COVID-19 has pushed state medical boards to consider disciplining physicians who promote COVID-19 disinformation. How would that work? What are the obstacles? Is it even possible? It should be, but it will be messy and complicated.

/ September 27, 2021