Episode 11: Science By Press Release, Trichloroethylene, and Parkinson’s Disease

Lots to say here. In today’s episode I’m going to talk about something that bothers me — science by press release. Not all science press releases are bad. Some are fine. But some are just downright awful. When a press release trumpets some alarming and scary number (like a chemical causes a 500% increase in Parkinson’s Disease) when the evidence doesn’t support it — that’s wrong. And that’s what we call Science By Press Release. Scaring people to get your science out there is simply irresponsible in my opinion. But when we see things like this, we need to start our critical thinking processes. We need to look at the evidence. We need to ask questions. And we need to dig. Hopefully, responsible reporters are out there and they’ll get ahead of this and they’ll ask questions of independent experts (like myself), and bring the topline messages back down to Earth, and make them more nuanced, and ultimately, more scientific, honest, and informative.

Oh yeah, I’m also renumbering my episodes. The season thing was a great idea when I was starting out, but it’s kinda artificial, and I’m doing away with it, and just numbering episodes.

Thanks for listening!

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