Tag Archives | pseudoscience

Responses to health misinformation in mass media recommended

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Posted 31 July 2019

Fifteen scholars at institutions in Canada have reviewed how health misinformation is spread through mass media and have recommended policy and communication correctives.

Reference: Caulfield T. and others. Health misinformation and the power of narrative messaging in the public sphere. Canadian Journal of Bioethics 2:52-60, 2019

They describe problems of: (a) misleading narratives spread through social media; (b) implicit hype of emerging therapies by the popular press, pseudoscience embraced by journalists; (c) use of “scienceploitation” language of quantum physics, stem cells, genetics, and microbiome research for hype; and (d) misleading narratives in health-related crowdfunding. They recommend four “legal and policy tools” followed by seven “social tools” in response:

  • Better enforcement of existing truth in advertising law, and/or improvements thereto
  • Regulatory policy change and enforcement for health professionals spreading misinformation
  • Policy outlining rules for and encouraging expert media engagement and the use of narrative
  • Litigation
  • Advocacy
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Why so many people fall for scams

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Posted 05 August 2018

Why are there so many suckers? A neuropsychologist explains

The Conversation

Stacey Wood – Professor of Psychology, Scripps College

If you have a mailbox, you probably get junk mail. If you have an email account, you probably get spam. If you have a phone, you probably get robocalls.

Unwanted messages and solicitations bombard us on a regular basis. Most of us hit ignore or delete or toss junk mail in the trash knowing that these messages and solicitations are most likely so-called mass-market scams. Others aren’t so lucky.

Scams cost individuals, organizations and governments trillions of dollars each year in estimated losses, and many victims endure depression and ill health. There is no other crime, in fact, that affects so many people from almost all ages, backgrounds and geographical locations.

But why do people fall prey to these scams? My colleagues and I set out Read the rest

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Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) podcast

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Posted  21 May 2018

A podcast in Afrikaans of a discussion featured on the program, Uit ‘n ander hoek, on 20 May 2018.

“Goedgelowige mense word maklik deur kwaksalwers uitgebuit wat nuttelose en selfs gevaarlike middels ten duurste aan hulle verkoop. Jean Oosthuizen gesels met die wetenskapjoernalis, George Claassen, en die redakteur van camcheck.co.za, dr. Harris Steinmann, oor kwaksalwery en pseudo-wetenskap.”

“People with good intentions are easily exploited by scam artists who sell the costly and even dangerous products to them. Jean Oosthuizen talks with science journalist George Claassen, and the editor of camcheck.co.za, dr. Harris Steinman, about scams and pseudo science”.

To listen to the podcast

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International Summit on Quackery & Pseudoscience: Stellenbosch

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Posted 30 October 2017

The International Summit on Quackery & Pseudoscience is being held in Stellenbosch 20-21 November 2017.

The dangers of pseudoscience and quackery in healthcare will come under scrutiny later this year at a ground-breaking international summit in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Numerous high-profile health and science communication experts will gather at the International Summit on Quackery and Pseudoscience to explore how science communication efforts by the media, scientists, health regulators and governments can counter the impact of pseudoscience and advance the use of evidence-based healthcare practices.

The summit will be held from 20-21 November at the University of Stellenbosch (SU). It will be jointly hosted by the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC) of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), and the Centre for Science and Technology Mass Communication (CENSCOM) of the postgraduate Department of Journalism at SU.

To read more, and register, visit the Censcom Read the rest

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Stellenbosch: International Summit on Quackery & Pseudoscience

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Posted 24 July 2017

Stellenbosch University hosts first international summit to counter quackery, pseudoscience and fake news in healthcare.

The dangers of pseudoscience and quackery in healthcare will come under scrutiny later this year at a ground-breaking international summit in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Numerous high-profile health and science communication experts will gather at the International Summit on Quackery and Pseudoscience to explore how science communication efforts by the media, scientists, health regulators and governments can counter the impact of pseudoscience and advance the use of evidence-based healthcare practices.

The summit will be held from 20-21 November at the University of Stellenbosch (SU). It will be jointly hosted by the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC) of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), and the Centre for Science and Technology Mass Communication (CENSCOM) of the postgraduate Department of Journalism at SU.

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More sex = a longer life? Really???

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The local South African magazine Health Intelligence Edition 12 proclaims on its cover: "Passion promotes health – sex for a longer life".

 

(Note: The highlighting box has been added.) On page 20 the article has the title: "Sex, so necessary for positive health: sex is a buzzword that defies trendsetting and social mores, staying top of mind and tip of tongue" and is written by Kirsten Alexander.  It is seemingly supported by 12 "scientific references" .

The Solal Technologies website Health Intelligence includes the following "product information": "Health Intelligence goes further and deeper [than other health magazines], because our focus falls squarely on the facts. Health Intelligence offers breakthrough science, enabling you to better protect your health. Thoroughly researched and using only the latest, peer-reviewed studies by leading international and local experts, Health Intelligence articles are not only credible, they are revolutionary, all the while offering life-enhancing Read the rest

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Crap Detection 101

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"Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him."
Ernest Hemingway, 1954

An excellent article by Howard Rheingold published in SFGate, the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Unless a great many people learn the basics of online crap detection and begin applying their critical faculties en masse and very soon, I fear for the future of the Internet as a useful source of credible news, medical advice, financial information, educational resources, scholarly and scientific research."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/rheingold/detail?entry_id=42805#ixzz1AesJCQfl

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Faith drops – in response

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Colleen (from Faith drops) added a comment to the posting of the ASA ruling against the claims of Faith drops. As the comment is far too long, I have added it as a posting.

Colleen (from Faith drops) writes:

To Harris / Geffen / Roy Jobson…. And anyone else

It would appear that everyone is on a mission – I guess we are keeping this site active by swallowing the bait – as before I am even able to respond to one thing they are on to the next……    Allow me to have my say – then by all means, everyone – have at it!!!   
Put the truth on your blog – not an extraction of something that is taken totally out of context –  at the very least the reading … Read the rest

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Top 10 (+5) pseudoscience health sites in SA

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Posted 21 July 2010

CAMcheck takes no pleasure in listing the following pseudoscience health sites in SA (in no particular order). Unfortunately there is very little that the appointed protectors of our health and wellbeing (Department of Health, Medicines Control Council, SA Pharmacy Council) are doing about protecting us from them. 

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