Hey there skeptifans. Here are the media Fails and Wins you sent me this week.
Baby On Bed
Anna sent in this win from Slate, discussing bed sharing with infants. Actress and PhD Mayam Bialik released a parenting book encouraging the practice, but Slate points out the risks associated with it. Parenting is one of those domains where women (the target audience of most parenting literature) are often told to appeal to their instincts rather than examine the evidence. It’s a shame to have a celebrity with a background in science encourage that same type of thinking.
Withey: Dr. Google not always best source, Edmonton parents advised
Lorne found this parenting win in the Edmonton Journal. A pediatrician discusses why turning to google for health advice can be dangerous. The article is a win for recommending double blind studies, observational research, and expert consensus – in that order.
Study finds little cancer risk in cell phones
Paul sent in this Win. A recent study on brain cancer and cell phones found little evidence of a link, and called into question a recent Swedish study that made headlines all over the world for suggesting there was a connection. If the other study garnered so much attention, where was the media frenzy around this study? “Every thing is probably fine, just keep going about your business” isn’t the most provocative headline. Unfortunately, scientific work that falls in that category often gets under-reported. It’s nice to see that this study did make it into the news.
University of Lethbridge takes $2 million for a chair in Complementary and Alternative Health Care.
Jim sent in this story. Sunflower seed mogul, Dr. Tom Droog, donated a lot of money to the U of Lethbridge to establish a professorship in Complementary and Alternative health care. According to the press release, “The professorship will enable evidence-based research to explore the issues and care practices associated with complementary and alternative medicine.” Let’s hope the money gets used to do just that.
Did you spot a media Fail or Win? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.