Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Welcome new science based medical blog

Science Based Medicine
This blogging year has seen a good start with a brand new blog aimed at promoting a science based view on health and countering false claims. The first real post of today is about the false dichotomy of "good" plants versus "bad" chemical pharmaceuticals. This distinction not only lacks scientific basis but is also a source of vulnerability to quackery. A very needful and relevant post.

Here is the mission statement published yesterday:

"Science-Based Medicine is a new daily science blog dedicated to promoting the highest standards and traditions of science in medicine and health care. The mission of this blog is to scientifically examine medical and health topics of interest to the public. This includes reviewing newly published studies, examining dubious products and claims, providing much needed scientific balance to the often credulous health reporting, and exploring issues related to the regulation of scientific quality in medicine.

The philosophy of this blog, at its core, is simple: Safe and effective health care is critical to to everyone’s quality of life; so much so that it is generally considered a basic human right. The best method for determining which interventions and health products are safe and effective is, without question, good science. Therefore it is in everyone’s best interest for health care to be systematically evaluated by the best science available.

Too often the nature of science itself is misunderstood or misrepresented to the public. Science is not an arcane and privileged discipline. By its very nature it is meant to be transparent and public. Science is nothing more than a systematic and careful use of evidence and logic to evaluate factual claims. And good science possesses certain virtues that are not unique to science but generic to all intellectual endeavors: fairly accounting for all available evidence, using valid and internally consistent logic, using unambiguous concepts and language, proper use of statistics, being quantitatively precise and accurate, and above all being honest."
Science Based Medicine is run by three authors well known to the skeptic community: Steven Novella, clinical neurologist and president of the New England Skeptical Society, Wallace Sampson, retired hematologist and oncologist, and Harriet Hall aka the SkepDoc. I am looking forward to the upcoming posts of this great team. Update: The team is growing ...

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