Social Influence in the Fight Against Science Denial
Take a moment and determine whether you agree with the following statements: Childhood vaccines are safe and effective and do not cause autism. Guns are unsafe to have in the home. Climate change is real and is caused by human behavior. Now take a moment and try to determine whether the vast majority of your… Continue reading
How should doctors talk to their patients about the risks of owning a gun?
In February of this year, a federal appeals court in Florida struck down a law that was a favorite of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The law restricted what healthcare providers could say to patients about gun ownership. The law was known as the Privacy of Firearm Owners act and the court ruled that it… Continue reading
Is Empathy Good or Bad?
Since Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, many emotions have been swirling around in the American public. Some people feel enraged. Some feel vindicated. Others feel scared. Still others feel perplexed and helpless. But there’s one emotion, one that’s perhaps uniquely human in many ways, that’s gotten a particularly sustained amount of attention: empathy. In… Continue reading
A Visit to CERN
I recently took a great trip to France and Switzerland, where I had the opportunity to visit Geneva. There are many great things to do see and do in Geneva. Most visitors love to walk around the gorgeous lake, stroll through the old town where John Calvin worked and Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born, and tour… Continue reading
Don’t Ignore the Science We Have
Dr. Rachel L. Moster, MD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. Psychiatrists often lament that we have less reliable scientific evidence to support our treatment decisions that do other medical specialists. The brain is by far the most complicated organ in the body and figuring out exactly how our medications work and which… Continue reading
Why Are We So Obsessed with What’s “Natural”?
Have you ever encountered someone who insisted that everything you come into contact with, touch, and consume on a regular basis is full of “chemicals” and will definitely kill you? Perhaps none of them is so extreme as to be identified as a “breatharian,” but all of us probably know a fair number of people… Continue reading
Facts, Fictions, and Belief in Modern Media
This is a guest post written by Dr. Paul Spector, MD. Dr. Spector is a health consultant and writer who helps clients apply scientific advances to maximize both physical and psychological fitness. He works with clients in New York City. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post where he reports on the often confusing… Continue reading
How to teach critical thinking and inquiry
Recently, we had the chance to speak with Mark Battersby, co-founder of the Critical Inquiry Group and author of the book Is That a Fact: A Field Guide to Evaluating Statistics and Scientific Information. He is also co-author (with Sharon Bailin) of a critical thinking textbook that focuses on inquiry: Reason in the Balance: An… Continue reading
The Trouble with Evidence-Based Medicine, Again
In Part I of this mini-series on medical guidelines, we discussed some of the challenges physicians face in following evidence-based medical guidelines. Now it’s time to face the much more difficult question: So what are we going to do about it? But first, a seemingly counterintuitive question: Should we do anything about it? As a… Continue reading