Category: Science and the Media

Is Dentistry Science Based?

  In today’s social media laden climate, it is de rigueur for people to instantaneously react and become simultaneously defensive and offended when any of our sacred cows are challenged.  It’s part of the human condition and we can’t help ourselves.  We dentists had the opportunity to feel assaulted a couple of weeks ago when an article in The Atlantic by Ferris...

/ May 17, 2019

The NORI protocol: An unproven fruit-based nutritional treatment for cancer sold by a self-proclaimed “expert”

Mark Simon is the founder of the Nutritional Oncology Research Institute. He has neither an MD, DO, nor PhD. (He doesn't even have an ND!) Yet he claims to have discovered a dietary protocol that can cure cancer. Can it? (I think you know the answer to this question.)

/ May 13, 2019

Patients blinded by stem cell therapy: an update

An update on the tragic results of unproven stem cell treatments to treat macular degeneration.

/ May 10, 2019

Deception by omission: Del Bigtree’s ICAN calls the studies licensing MMR into question

Del Bigtree's antivaccine group Informed Consent Action Network issued a press release questioning the data used to license the MMR vaccine, with Bigtree claiming on a recent episode of his vlog Highwire that it causes significant GI issues that the FDA "covered up." As usual, Bigtree is deceiving by omission.

/ May 6, 2019

Great Courses: Skeptic’s Guide to Health, Medicine, and the Media

Dr. Roy Benaroch's course offers a toolkit of six questions we can use to evaluate the truth behind the often misleading media reports on health topics. It is a valuable companion to the Private-investigator-detective blog.

/ April 2, 2019

An HBO Documentary about the Theranos Fraud Raises Concerns

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos to develop a device that could do 200 tests on a single drop of blood in a minute. She lied; it failed; she is being tried for fraud and conspiracy. The HBO documentary The Inventor tells the story but has some flaws. We can learn lessons from what happened.

/ March 26, 2019

Shots Heard: When the antivaccine movement swarms and harasses on social media, what can we do?

Of late, antivaxers active on social media have been ramping up their attacks on their perceived enemies, up to and including attacking even mothers who have lost children to vaccine-preventable disease. A new study looks at the characteristics of this group, even as two doctors form a group to help those who are victims of antivaccine harassment on social media, Shots Heard...

/ March 25, 2019
Amazon Prime

Combatting dangerous quackery and antivaccine misinformation on streaming services and social media

Last week, Amazon began removing antivaccine videos from Amazon Prime. Last month, YouTube announced that it was demonetizing antivaccine videos, and Facebook stated that it would be taking action to de-emphasize antivaccine pages in its searched. These are all good first tentative steps, but the problem of quackery on streaming platforms and social media goes way beyond just antivaccine content. Making it...

/ March 4, 2019
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
PIC 2019

The strange saga of Peter Gøtzsche and Physicians for Informed Consent

Recently, it was noted that Peter Gøtzsche, formerly of Cochrane Nordic, was featured on the speaker list for an antivaccine quackfest organized by the antivaccine group Physicians for Informed Consent, along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Toni Bark, and Marry Holland. Two days later, he announced that he would not be speaking there. So what happened? And what is Physicians for Informed...

/ February 18, 2019