1. Conspiracy Fantasy Camp
A rather bizarre article mentioned us in the Duluth News-Tribune - a small-town doctor tells our Dr. Josh Bloom, who testified at the FDA on the opioid crisis and brought fentanyl to national attention, that he didn't know what he was talking about when it comes to opiods, and then goes off into a conspiracy after spending five seconds on Google and finding a wiki entry on the political activism site Sourcewatch which manufactured all kinds of stuff that anti-science people believe about science. He writes (bold mine):
Bloom was not just mistaken about this, his goal seemed to be to deceive readers. His supporters (pharmaceutical companies) seem to want you to believe the epidemic of opioid addiction is a direct result of the inappropriate regulation of the industry by an overzealous governmental agency imposing ill-conceived restrictions.
Gee, Dr. Van Deelen, his name is actually Dr. Bloom and his 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry don't disqualify him, it means he knows a lot more about their tactics than you do, despite you wearing your "personal experience" on your sleeve as a get-out-of-jail-free card for libeling people.
But the M.D.'s rant is so ill-informed he can't even get the basics correct.
Bloom's employer, the Washington, D.C.,-based American Council on Science and Health, is a pro-industry organization known for defending corporations against concerns raised by scientists and consumers, according to Sourcewatch.
in 2012 it was funded by large corporations, including pharmaceutical companies and private foundations like the Koch Foundation (a tool the Koch brothers use to promote their pro-industry, anti-regulation ideology).
We're not based in D.C. and have never been in 39 years of existence. I get that Sourcewatch may have it wrong, it's written by amateur political bloggers, but if your name is going on an article leveling serious ethical accusations against someone, you should at least have the courtesy of doing some research. You know, the fact checking that responsible people do. Like going to our website and seeing where our office is.
We get money from the Koch brothers? That's news to me. Heck, it would be news to my predecessor, the founder of the organization. But why would it be a bad thing? The Koch brothers are, what, maybe number 49 in foundation size? Why are Ford and MacArthur Foundation and all those other foundations that fill the top 48 slots and skew left acceptable but not a right wing one? Well, it tells you how how people vote and how little logic is involved when they are creating conspiracies.
And who are these pharmaceutical companies funding us? Don't get me wrong, I will cash that check too, but he is wrong. I assume Van Deelen (he lost the right to be addressed by his title after slurring Dr. Bloom and our 300 doctors and scientists) works for free or else we have to believe his corporate handler at St. Luke's controls what he writes and speaks. Right, Nick? If it applies to our Ph.D.s and doctors it sure applies to you.
Anyway, enough berating him, his is the kind of naive, simplistic stuff people say when they are out of their league, no different than amateur physicists who insist they have a Theory of Everything or political bloggers who just know Pres. Obama is not a US citizen. We have to assume he learned medicine better than he learned about us so keep on doing what you are actually good at, Nick.
2. In more uplifting pro-science news, about what we do with the money actual donors give us...
Here is Dr. David Samadi, our Director of Medicine Dr. Jamie Wells, and legendary New York City broadcaster Ernie Anastos getting ready to film a spot on health education for Fox 5 New York.
What isn't harming you; BPA, microwave ovens (they are not spying on you either) and numerous other health fallacies that scaremongers try to put out there.
3. Alex Berezow did a podcast on "Science Reporting in the Age of Fake News" - they were interested in how the public could know what works and what does not. With Real Clear Science we created the now-famous chart ranking science media, and we will soon have a "What's The Story?" explainer for how to tell real versus fake news soon.
4. Shortly after Dr. Jamie Wells spent the day filming a series of segments in New York City, she was off to Washington, D.C. to appear on Al Jazeera talking about sickle cell anemia and the advances in gene therapy that are showing great promise for this genetic disease.
5. Finally, I did a podcast with Cameron English, who had a provocative question; does science journalism have a credibility problem, and why do both Mother Jones and National Review hate you so much?
Listen in for the details but the short answer is: Science often falls first when politics is the goal.
Other places that linked to our work:
Ceres Courier - and our article about how the politics of medicine has limited patient choices rather than providing better ones.
The Marshalltown - actually, our article cautioning CNN's Reza Aslan about the risks of eating human brains was discussed from Australia to Zimbabwe.
Mr. Aslan was certainly good-natured about the attention we brought his television segment.
That's our media for last week, in addition to dozens of articles we wrote on our website and for later publication in national media. So, actual donors we have, thanks again for making all that science and health outreach possible. And donors who are only in the minds of Mother Jones and Sourcewatch, our mailing address is below. Or you can use a credit card.