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Latest Posts

Why Denying Science Is Dangerous

I came across a TED video of Michael Specter’s talk about the dangers confronting us as the war against science progresses. Here’s TED’s description of the video:

Vaccine-autism claims, “frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze — they all point to the public’s growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress.

Read more about The Danger of Science Denial, posted with vodpod.

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Pseudomedicine: How To Make The NCCAM Less Dangerous

For a number of reasons, well-argued many times here on SBM, it would be beneficial to American citizens if the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) were abolished. This does not seem to be in the cards anytime soon.

Here, then, are my suggestions for making the Center less dangerous and less of a marketing tool for pseudomedicine than it has been since its inception. Some suggestions might even make the Center somewhat useful. They are listed in order of priority. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Homeopathy May No Longer Be Funded By Britain’s NHS

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (STC) has released a report, Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, in which they recommend that the NHS stop funding homeopathy. The report is a rare commodity – a thoroughly science-based political document.

The committee went beyond simply stating that homeopathy does not work, and revealed impressive insight into the ethical, practical, and scientific problems caused by NHS support for an implausible and ineffective pseudoscience. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Trial Lawyers Paid Scientist To Falsify Data So They Could Sue Vaccine Manufacturers

You may have heard about Andrew Wakefield who tried to find a link between MMR vaccines and autism. He has published several papers. Now it turns out he acted unethically in carrying out his research according to a medical regulator.

Doctor Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study, published in the Lancet medical journal, said there might be a connection between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) injection and autism.

The suggestion horrified parents and led to a slump in the number of youngsters getting the jab, as well as triggering heated debate in medical circles.

In a ruling Thursday, the General Medical Council attacked Wakefield for “unethical” research methods and for showing a “callous disregard” for the youngsters as he carried out tests.

This included taking blood samples from children at his son’s birthday party for five-pound payments.

Why am I writing about it?

Because we all have to learn from this. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Larry Dossey, Premonition-Based Medicine, And The Bizarre Underbelly Of CAM

A “Double Standard”?

Last week I had planned to write a comprehensive critique of a recent comment by Larry Dossey. He had posted it on Val Jones’s betterhealth website in response to Dr. Val’s essay, “The Decade’s Top 5 Threats To Science In Medicine,” originally posted here on SBM. Much of what Dr. Val had identified as the top threats involved recent dalliances, by government, medical schools, and the media, with the collection of implausible and mostly nonsensical health claims that advocates have dubbed “CAM.” As uncontroversial as Dr. Val’s assertions ought to have been—similar to suggesting that closing one’s eyes and “using the force” would be a threat to safe driving (even if some might quibble over the top threats to science in medicine)—Dr. Dossey demurred by distraction: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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