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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  • Is There A Science To Psychotherapy?
    November 19, 2018 | Comments

    Since the decade of the brain, 1990-1999, neuroscience has captured enormous amounts of attention from both the scientific community and the general public. Many books and media reports describe the brain’s basic anatomy and function. There has been a proliferation of neuroscience institutes at universities. In laboratories all over the world, neuroscience has become one […]

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  • What Makes An Illness Real?
    October 27, 2018 | Comments

            Making the right diagnosis is the most important task that doctors must perform. When a patient presents with cough, fever, and chest pain, for instance, there are a range of diseases that can be the cause, ranging from things that go away on their own, like the common cold and viral bronchitis, to life-threatening […]

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  • Call to Action: Depicting Safer Sex in Fiction to Influence Public Health Behavior
    October 7, 2018 | Comments

    Editor’s Note: We were struck by these thoughts from Phyllis Zimbler Miller when she told us about them and asked her to write them down for Critica. The use of automobile seat belts is an unequivocal public health success and has, as Ms. Miller explains, been embraced by the entertainment industry. We know that safer […]

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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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