Commentary

Critica Commentary is a place for discussion of all things related to denial of scientific evidence and health and science literacy. Here you will find longer pieces about particular topics, such as medical misdiagnosis and conflicts of interest, as well as interviews with key people working at the intersection of health policy, science journalism, science education, and psychology, among other fields. You may also find guest posts by authorities in the field as well as by people with fascinating stories to share and analyses of recent news articles, studies, and current events. If you are interested in writing something for Critica, please contact us here.

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  • Relatively Speaking, It Isn’t Absolutely True
    September 16, 2018 | Comments

    Tell me you can reduce my risk of something awful happening to me by 100% compared to what I am currently doing, and I am all ears. Show me a study that says a new approach or treatment improves the chances of escaping disease by 50% compared to a standard intervention and I am impressed. […]

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  • This Is For The Birds
    September 7, 2018 | Comments

    Editors’ Note: Critica follower and contributor Peter McKenzie-Brown, who lives in Canada, writes about his experience as a birder, something about which we at Critica previously knew very little. But beyond telling us some interesting things about birds and birding, the article discloses a now all-too-familiar twisting of facts to favor profit over science. Scientists […]

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  • Don’t Shoot From the Hip; Shoot From the Research
    August 26, 2018 | Comments

    According to the Collins English Dictionary, “If you say that someone shoots from the hip, you mean that they react to situations or give their opinion very quickly, without stopping to think”. With pun fully intended, that is often the way statements are made about firearm-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. Almost no area […]

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  • When Prediction Is Not Prevention
    August 13, 2018 | Comments

    Last month we noted that it took two celebrity suicides and a seemingly shocking CDC report demonstrating increasing suicide rates in the US to get professionals, the media, and the public to finally focus their attention on suicide. Suddenly, medical journals, newspapers, and social media are abuzz with the news that we have an “epidemic of […]

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  • Food for Thought Hampers Trust in Science
    July 18, 2018 | Comments

    There are few areas of science that attract as much attention by media and its consumers than nutrition. It seems that almost every time a study is published that touts a particular food or diet as having special health benefits, it garners headlines.

            One of the few things most of us believe we control is what we eat. That makes it highly attractive to think we can prevent seemingly uncontrollable events like heart disease, cancer, and dementia by choosing the right foods. It is even better when we are told we can do this without ever feeling hungry.

            It is not surprising, therefore, that science and the public intersect so frequently around diet and nutrition. Given that we want people to trust science and incorporate it into decisions about personal health and safety, it would seem of critical importance that the nutritional science imparted to the public be trustworthy and reported accurately. We have been following stories about nutritional studies closely because of their potential impact on how non-scientists judge the value of what they hear and read about scientists’ work and findings. Sadly, there are few areas of science as prone to mistakes, misunderstandings, and hype than nutrition.

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