Public health specialists Dr. Paul Carson and Dr. Paul Cieslak talk about how to evaluate medical claims we may hear about from friends, family, or media. They help us understand the different types of scientific studies and which provide the most reliable information, the importance of control groups and establishing causation, and how to recognize and avoid confirmation bias.

Top 3 Takeaways:

  1. You’ve got to ask what is the control group, and always ask if it’s correlation or causation?
  2. “Mice lie, and chimpanzees exaggerate.” Just because something works on animals or in a test tube, doesn’t mean it will work on humans.
  3. We need humility about what we know for sure and what we don’t know for sure in science and healthcare.

More Resources:
“Are Smart People Ruining Democracy?” talk by Dan Kahan

“Battling bad science” talk by Ben Goldacre

“Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.”
George Santayana Quote

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