Category: Science and the Media

When compassion is outshined by ignorance

In a media-saturated society, public figures have a disproportionate influence on people’s understanding of science and medicine. Most patients see their doctor no more than a couple of times a year, but they watch TV, go online, or read a paper daily. In our newspapers and in our news rooms, dedicated science reporters are becoming vanishingly rare.   A wide range of...

/ October 20, 2008

Dr. Jay Gordon and me: Random encounters with an apologist for the antivaccine movement

Although he doesn’t detest me nearly as much as antivaccine honcho and founder of Generation Rescue J. B. Handley does, Santa Monica celebrity pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon doesn’t like me very much at all. Actually, I’m not sure whether that’s entirely true or not, but Dr. Gordon sure doesn’t like it when I criticize him for his antivaccine rhetoric. He affects an...

/ October 20, 2008

A natural product of his environment

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join this outstanding group of medical professional bloggers in adding my natural products angle to the application of science-based medicine.  With the exception of Dr. Gorski, who holds MD and PhD degrees, I believe I am the first “only a PhD” to be invited to SBM.  However, I have spent much of my career training,...

/ October 14, 2008

I No Longer Love a Parade

Parade magazine is the most widely read periodical in the US, with a circulation of 32 million and a readership of 71 million (1). They get that readership by placing it, free for readers, in over 400 newspapers. The column in question is “Ease The Aches Of Arthritis” By Dr. Vijay Vad, published 09/28/2008. Dr. Vad is a physiatrist (a rehabilitation doctor)...

/ October 9, 2008

A “Shruggie” Awakening – One Doctor’s Journey Toward Scientific Enlightenment

In her inaugural post, Dr. Val Jones discusses her transition from being a shruggie - unaware of the risks and harms of alternative medicine - to awakened.

/ October 7, 2008

Misleading Ads in Scientific American

I’m frequently asked, “Is what that ad says really true?” Three recent inquiries have been about products advertised in Scientific American. An ad may acquire a certain cachet by appearing in a prestigious science magazine, but that doesn’t mean much. Scientific American’s editorial standards apparently don’t extend to its advertising department. I remain skeptical about the claims for all three of these:...

/ September 22, 2008

The worst of times for antivaccine believers: Yet another study fails to show any link between the MMR vaccine and autism

THE BEST OF TIMES It was the best of times (for antivaccinationists). It was the worst of times (for antivaccinationists). It was the age of wisdom (definitely not for antivaccinationists). It was the age of foolishness (definitely for antivaccinationists). It was the epoch of belief (for antivaccinationists). Such is the time we live in, my apologies to Charles Dickens, even though he...

/ September 8, 2008

Thanks, Jenny McCarthy! Thanks for the measles!

Thanks for bringing back a once-vanquished disease, Jenny!

/ August 24, 2008

High dose vitamin C and cancer: Has Linus Pauling been vindicated?

Treating cancer with high-doses of vitamin C is a zombie idea that began with Linus Pauling, and has failed to die ever since. But has new research vindicated this idea? No. No in any meaningful way. This work is the very definition of a long run for a short slide.

/ August 18, 2008

Amanda Peet is My Hero(1)

“The graveyards are full of (unvaccinated) men.” Charles de Gaulle, modified by the author. We live longer than anytime in history. Our long lives are due in large part to good nutrition, sanitation, and vaccines. There have been numerous posts here and elsewhere about the vaccine deniers, primarily focused around the modern myth that vaccines cause autism. That is not the topic...

/ August 14, 2008