Science Criticism

Read: Dr. John Ioannidis on Why You Shouldn’t Trust Scientific Findings (But Science Is Still Awesome!)

Dr. Ioannidis is a hero of mine. In fact, he’s a hero of many a scientist who has found him- or herself shaking their heads upon finding out how the contemporary scientific establishment functions. He came to Montreal in October to give a public science talk on the lack of reproducibility in the scientific literature. … Continue reading

I Can’t See You and You Can’t See Me: The Advantages of Double-Blindness in Reviewing Scientific Results
Science Criticism

I Can’t See You and You Can’t See Me: The Advantages of Double-Blindness in Reviewing Scientific Results

Imagine doing a science experiment in an interrogation room while facing a two-way mirror. The people on the other side know who you are, but you have no idea who is judging you. This, in a nutshell, is how scientific articles have traditionally been reviewed in the fields of molecular biology and genetics prior to … Continue reading

Pseudoscience

All-Natural Vitamins (Now with Antibiotics! But Sssh! Don’t Tell Anyone!)

I hope readers of the blog will never utter the sentence, “It’s safe: it’s natural!” For one thing, snake venom is natural, but I have it on good authority that it’s not safe for consumption. For another, we know that so-called “natural products” do not undergo the more rigorous quality assurance/quality control process actual drugs … Continue reading

Science Criticism / Science Education

Read: What Did the Public Get from Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy

Via @CaulfieldTim, a very interesting article by David Kroll for Forbes on what the public understood from the well-publicized double mastectomy Angelina Jolie chose to undergo. Here’s a fascinating excerpt about the public’s perception of risks: “While the researchers addressed other issues, their most striking reminder on the overall impact of any health reporting relates … Continue reading

No Tolerance for Conversion
Pseudoscience

No Tolerance for Conversion

So, I’ve been experiencing gay thoughts for the past few months, but I’ve heard of this thing called “conversion therapy”. Does it really work? Can they make me straight again? “Conversion therapy”, also known as “reparative therapy”, does not work and is certainly not science. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association condemns treatments of the … Continue reading

Science Criticism

Read: 23andMe, Which Bypasses Physicians to Sell Genetic Testing to the Public, Is Told by the FDA to Stop Selling Its DNA Tests

Via @NatureNews, a very interesting article about the fight in the United States over how to best administer genetic testing. The company 23andMe has been selling a 99-dollar service in which your DNA profile reveals your carrier status for a slew of genetic diseases (including cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease), your expected drug response (e.g. … Continue reading

Science Criticism

Read: Margaret Wente on Why Nutrition Science Has Failed Us

A great piece in the Globe and Mail, brought to my attention by André Picard (@PicardonHealth), on vitamins, antioxidants, and other “scientifically-proven wundersupplements”. Are they worth the hype? “As Mr. Archer writes in an opinion piece published in The Scientist, “there is a large body of evidence demonstrating that the systematic misreporting of energy and macronutrient … Continue reading

Pseudoscience / Science Criticism / Science Education

Read: Timothy Caulfield on Stem Cell Tourism and Other Lamentable Scienceploitations

Timothy Caulfield (@CaulfieldTim), a friend of the blog and health policy expert in Alberta, wrote a terrific piece for The Walrus on recent trends in exploiting good science and vulnerable patients by promising revolutionary cures. Entitled “Blinded by Science”, the essay demonstrates how difficult it is for the public to remain skeptical in the face … Continue reading