A Farewell to ACSH

By Alex Berezow, PhD — Mar 16, 2021
Farewell articles are tough to write, which is one reason why I try not to write them very often.
Credit: Public Domain/Wikipedia

A little under five years ago, I wrote my farewell article for RealClearScience. Today, I find myself writing another such article, this time for the American Council on Science and Health.

In May 2016, I was hired by ACSH to assist in its mission "to publicly support evidence-based science and medicine and to debunk junk science and exaggerated health scares." Founded in 1978 by the late Beth Whelan, ACSH has had tremendous success in fulfilling its mission, and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

I like to think that my tenure contributed to this success, though "success" is often a tricky thing to measure in the Internet Age. If we measure success by website traffic, we grew several-fold. If we measure success by media mentions, we were published in or cited by nearly every major media outlet -- The New York Times, USA Today, BBC News, Yahoo News, MSN, and Business Insider, just to name a few. We were frequently on the radio and occasionally on TV. If we measure success by our enemies list, there are more than a handful of anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, and anti-technology activists who don't like us very much. We irritated the right people, like Dr. Oz.

Speaking of people, it's precisely the people of ACSH that made this organization a special place to work. I was blessed to have two tremendous colleagues alongside me on the editorial team, Dr. Josh Bloom and Dr. Chuck Dinerstein. Josh is one of the funniest and most irreverent people I have ever met. Through our collaboration here, we have developed a close personal friendship. Chuck is, as a former colleague of ours once noted, "the smartest person in the room." If you have a question, he has an answer, and it's usually better than yours.

I also benefited from the leadership at ACSH. President Thom Golab put his trust in the editorial team's expertise, and we were allowed to do our work unimpeded. (I've learned that having the complete trust of your boss is one of the best assets to have in a job.) The Board of Trustees, especially Steve Whelan, Nigel Bark, and Steven Modzelewski, played crucial support roles for which all of us are extremely grateful.

Additionally, there are people behind the scenes who help ensure that ACSH operates smoothly, Cheryl Martin and Erik Lief. Cheryl has been head of operations for roughly 40 years, so it's way past time that she be promoted to "Queen of ACSH." Erik helped handle media inquiries.

Of course, none of this is possible without our readers and donors, so I want to thank all of you, as well.

As for me, I'm heading into a slightly different career, one I hope is as enriching as this one has been.

Alex Berezow, PhD

Former Vice President of Scientific Communications

Dr. Alex Berezow is a PhD microbiologist, science writer, and public speaker who specializes in the debunking of junk science for the American Council on Science and Health. He is also a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and a featured speaker for The Insight Bureau. Formerly, he was the founding editor of RealClearScience.

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