Better safe than sorry. That's a great lesson for a child when a parent explains why she should wear a helmet when riding her bicycle. But that refrain makes for terrible public health policy.
The Lancet is a highly respected biomedical journal that's taken an odd turn toward sensationalism and clickbait. That is troubling. Here's what we've been noticing.
Why on Earth does the media print sensationalist nonsense over and over again? We know of at least three reasons: (1) It cares more about internet traffic (and $$$) than anything else; (2) science journalists often have no formal education in the field; and (3) university press offices purposefully exaggerate their research.
From Seattle to New Haven, we here at the American Council have crisscrossed America spreading good science news while debunking junk science. We even made a couple of international appearances! Take a look.
The editorial board of the New York Times came out in favor of revising FDA regulations of cosmetic products. This is a reasonable suggestion since such a review has not taken place since 1938. But sound science, especially toxicology, is essential for any change in regulations to be meaningful. Unfortunately, on the science itself, the newspaper's proposal misses the mark.
There's bad press coverage ... and then there's (expletive) press coverage. ABC's Milwaukee affiliate most certainly provided the latter, after reporting that less-addictive, over-the-counter drugs -- like Advil and Tylenol -- are three times more effective than some opioid counterparts. This is dead wrong. And neither Advil nor Tylenol is the slightest bit addicting. Aside from that ... way to nail the story WISN!
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is one of the foremost pro-science organizations in the world. Not only does it advocate for good science and science policy, it publishes Science, the prestigious journal read globally by millions. Unfortunately, AAAS has gotten a bit weird in recent months.
The Beatles song "Here, There, and Everywhere" was about romance, but it also describes ACSH's presence in the media in recent days.
Bloomberg's recent hit piece on milk touches upon almost every sensitive issue that worries parents: food, school and their children. Toss in a conspiracy theory about "Big Dairy," and that's how Bloomberg came up with a fear-mongering headline, complete with a disgusting photo that is supposed to make readers feel queasy.
The prevalence of cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low. Many media outlets decided to downplay or ignore this milestone public health achievement and instead scare people about vaping.
Some studies are so incredibly stupid, one wonders how they get published in any scientific journal, let alone a prestigious one. And yet, it's happened once again. A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine claims that eating organic food will reduce a person's risk of developing cancer. You got it right: Magic prevents cancer.
Over the past decade, Americans' trust in the news media has collapsed. However, it can be restored, if the media dedicates itself to accuracy and correcting its mistakes. As we are learning Americans care less about a media outlet's political slant than its dedication to the truth.