menage melange (where is my mind?) of skeptical newsy things:
First of all, an update to my post yesterday bemoaning the lack of journalistic integrity in science reporting: Remember Newsweek’s Sharon Begley, who was a speaker at TAM 6? While at TAM, we interviewed her on The Skeptics’ Guide, and I very much disagreed with her opinion that journalists as a whole were doing their jobs properly and that it was up to scientists to make better efforts to market their work. I also disagreed with her strongly when she criticized Penn Jillette for something he didn’t even say at the conference, a topic we covered on a later podcast.
Well, now there’s something new to criticize her about, and Orac has done a wonderful job of it. Her most recent column throws nuance out the window in favor of the headline Why Doctors Hate Science, a statement that naturally leaves Orac a bit puzzled, and by “puzzled” I mean he says she’s full of shit. Go read his post for all the dirt.
Begley’s column is yet another example of a journalist oversimplifying an issue to the detriment of the public, and I say that as someone who accepts and appreciates the fact that often we must simplify complex issues in order to create an understandable and enjoyable narrative. By broadly claiming that doctors hate science, she undermines the work of many doctors like Orac or Steve Novella and friends at Science-based Medicine who persistently call for stricter regulations and a stronger focus on science in medicine.
In happier news, Saturday, March 14, is Pi Day (3.14)! To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to have a pie fight on Boston Common. Here’s a Facebook event page if you’re on there and would like to RSVP. Invite your friends â€“Â the more, the merrier!
Speaking of Bostonian events, Jeff Cutler visited the most recent Boston Skeptics in the Pub with Tim Farley and recorded some great audio. You can listen over on his blog, Bowl of Cheese. Thanks Jeff, it was very nice to see you. Also: mmm, cheese.
Finally, I received an absolutely amazing and wonderful present yesterday from Ultimate Cupcakes. U.C. is a bakery run by a very cool skeptic named Tony, who was kind enough to send me all the delicious flavors they offer. All were outrageously tasty, and if the pumpkin cupcakes came in a never-ending box, I’d be the happiest diabetic in the world. So thanks, Tony! Ultimate Cupcakes are now the official cupcakes of Skepchick.