Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them
Author: Seema Yasmin (Hughes Hall 2005)
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Can your zip code predict when you will die? Should you space out childhood vaccines? Does talcum powder cause cancer? Why do some doctors recommend e-cigarettes while other doctors recommend you stay away from them? Health information―and misinformation―is all around us, and it can be hard to separate the two. A long history of unethical medical experiments and medical mistakes, along with a host of celebrities spewing anti-science beliefs, has left many wary of science and the scientists who say they should be trusted. How can we unravel the knots of fact and fiction to find out what we should really be concerned about, and what we can laugh off?
In Viral BS, medical journalist, doctor, professor, and former CDC disease detective Seema Yasmin, driven by a need to set the record straight, dissects some of the most widely circulating medical myths and pseudoscience. Exploring how epidemics of misinformation and disinformation can spread faster than microbes, Dr. Yasmin asks why bad science is sometimes more believable and contagious than the facts. Each easy-to-read chapter covers a specific myth, whether it has endured for many years or hit the headlines more recently. Dr. Yasmin explores such pressing questions as:
- Do cell phones, Nutella, or bacon cause cancer?
- Does playing football cause brain disease?
- Should you eat your placenta?
- Do the flat tummy teas promoted by celebs on Instagram actually work?
- Is the CDC banned from studying guns?
- Do patients cared for by female doctors live longer?
- Is trauma inherited?
- Is suicide contagious?
...and much more.
Taking a deep dive into the health and science questions you have always wanted answered, this authoritative and entertaining book empowers readers to reach their own conclusions. Viral BS even comes with Dr. Yasmin's handy pull-out-and-keep Bulls*%t Detection Kit.