Book Review: Is That a Fact? by Dr. Joe Schwarcz
Pseudoscience / Science Criticism / Science Education

Book Review: Is That a Fact? by Dr. Joe Schwarcz

Three words fly in my head in a tight formation, constantly looping back to my consciousness as I watch the video: “such a shame.” The video is one of the many amateurish agglomerations of stills and monotonous voice-over narration that seem to populate the skeptical trenches of YouTube. My friend Andrew, whom fans of our … Continue reading

Science Criticism

Read: A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science

A great complement to the talk I gave last week, this one specifically addresses how to evaluate a scientific paper and/or its coverage in the news. You can read the whole poster here: http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/04/02/a-rough-guide-to-spotting-bad-science/ Continue reading

Pseudoscience / Science Criticism

Read: Deconstructing Bad Science or How I Learned to Stop Acupuncturing and Love the Placebo

As most scientists learn the hard way, not all research studies are equal. It is not always easy, however, for members of the public to discern between a well-crafted study and a flawed one, especially when reading the sensationalized Cliff Notes appearing on the news. Dr. Steven Novella, neurologist and host of the fantastic weekly … Continue reading

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

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

Pseudoscience / Science Criticism / Science Education

Read: Joe Schwarcz on Why Not All Facts Are Created Equal

As a prelude to this year’s Lorne Trottier Symposium on Public Science, I encourage you to take a look at Joe Schwarcz’s latest article in The Montreal Gazette. Here’s an excerpt: “In science we don’t cherry pick. We shake the tree, collect all the cherries, mash them together and then taste. And that’s just what … Continue reading