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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  • What People Are Reading About Science, Health, and Personal Safety
    April 27, 2019 | Comments

    There are three parts to effective science communication, two of which have robust infrastructure. The first leg is scientist to scientist: it is easy for scientists to find out what other scientists are thinking about—scientific publications and conferences abound in which every new finding, controversy, and dispute can be rehearsed in detail. The second leg […]

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  • Modifying An Opinion
    February 10, 2019 | Comments

    Mark Lynas once gleefully destroyed fields of genetically modified crops. He was an outspoken critic of genetic engineering of the food we eat, insisting that what we commonly refer to as GMOs are dangerous to our health and to the environment. He felt as passionately about this as he did about another cause he embraced, […]

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  • Things We Just Don’t Know
    January 29, 2019 | Comments

    Editor’s Note: We thank our frequent reader and colleague, Dr. Richard Plotzker, for calling to our attention the articles in the Annals of Internal Medicine about coffee consumption that prompted this post. We also disclose that one of us (Jack Gorman) has a patent pending for a new use for caffeine in tablet form.   […]

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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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