Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine

More credulous reporting on placebo effects

Now that Trine Tsouderos no longer works for the Chicago Tribune, there aren’t that many reliable generalist medical/science reporters around any more. For example, here in the U.S. there’s Marilyn Marchionne at the AP, Gina Kolata of the New York Times, and then there’s Sharon Begley, who used to be at Newsweek but is now […]

Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine

Dietary supplements: Scary substances manufactured under scary conditions

If there’s a law that I view as a horrible, horrible, law, it’s the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA of 1994). It is a law that blog bud and former ScienceBlogs blogger Dr. Peter Lipson has rightly called a travesty of a mockery of a sham, and, quite frankly, I think he […]

Antivaccine nonsense Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery

The “no debate” debate, briefly revisited

Just yesterday, I commented on a typical whine from the antivaccine crew at the crank blog Age of Autism in which Dan Olmsted became indignant over being reminded that science does not support his belief that vaccines cause autism, that they don’t work, and that they are dangerous. Olmsted, clueless as ever about science, viewed […]

Clinical trials Medicine Science

Misrepresenting science: Time to look in the mirror

If there’s one thing I’ve been railing about for the last few years, it’s how scientific and medical studies are reported in the lay press. It seems that hardly a week passes without my having to apply a little Insolence, be it Respectful or not-so-Respectful, to some story or another, usually as a result of […]

Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

Whooping cough returns in Michigan

The other day, I noted a contrast between certain parts of the developed world (namely, Europe) where, thanks to fears of the MMR vaccine stoked by Andrew Wakefield and the credulous and sensationalistic British press, MMR uptake rates have fallen and, predictably, measles incidence has skyrocketed, and the rest of the world, where polio is […]