Tag: science communication

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
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 Causes of Bad Science Reporting

A discussion of reasons why science reporting so often gives the wrong impression about various scientific studies.

/ June 16, 2021

Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. Now what for science-based medicine?

In 2016 and 2020, scientists expressed surprise and alarm at the results of the Presidential election. In 2016 it was alarm that someone as antiscience as Donald Trump was elected, and in 2020 it was over how close the election was, given Trump's dismal record on science, medicine, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Are scientists out of touch? And now what, for federal...

/ November 9, 2020

Public Attitude Toward Science

New Pew research findings show confidence in science remains high, but there are some important caveats.

/ February 19, 2020

Is defending science-based medicine worth it?

Pseudoscience, denialism, fake news, and disinformation about health are a bigger problem than ever, thanks to social media. As doctors and scientists join lay defenders of science on social media, will they be willing to pay the price in terms of harassment? Or will they decide it's not worth the hassle? And what about our fellow docs who think that it's beneath...

/ January 20, 2020
Peter Gøtzsche

Peter Gøtzsche and antivaxers: Should a science advocate ever speak at an antivaccine conference?

Last week, I wrote about how evidence-based medicine icon Peter Gøtzsche was slated to speak at an antivaccine conference. This week, I now know why he agreed to appear. In part, he thought he could change antivaxer minds. This leads me to ask: Is it ever a good idea for a science advocate to speak at a pseudoscience conference?

/ February 25, 2019

SBM Progress Report

Science-Based Medicine has been operating for a decade. While we have been successful by many measures, the challenges we face remain great. Here is a look at the mission of SBM, and a call for support to our readers.

/ November 29, 2017

We still Need Better Communication on GMOs

A new PEW survey has been carried out regarding public attitudes toward genetically modified organisms (GMOs), organic food, and scientific consensus. While the numbers are better than I expected for science, they still indicate a large disconnect between scientific and public opinion on food matters. Scientists need to do better.

/ December 7, 2016

Information Literacy and the Number Needed to Treat

Increasingly people are accessing healthcare information in order to make decisions for their own health. A 2010 Pew poll found that 80% of internet users will do so for health care information. This presents a huge potential benefit, but also a significant risk. Information literacy Daniel Levitin talks about the need for public information literacy, something we also discuss frequently here on...

/ November 4, 2015