Archive | February, 2020

Spinning science: how to cut through overhyped health news and medical misinformation to get to the truth

16 Feb

spinning science

My science writing team at Fred Hutch put together this series of stories to help the public — and especially cancer patients — cut through all the harmful health misinformation and overhyped nonsense that’s out there these days.

Boy, could I have used this back in the day.

When I was first diagnosed, it was hard to figure out what to believe, there was so much back and forth. Mammograms save lives! Mammograms actually give you cancer! Wine is healthy! Wine will kill you!  What was I supposed to take away from that? I would always try to go to the source, but deciphering scientific papers wasn’t easy either, not once they descended into TILOA, The Indecipherable Land of Acronyms, a confusing place full of scientific doublespeak and mind-bending biostatistical models.

If that’s you, I’m hoping this series will help. There are six stories in all. Great explainers on many aspects of clinical and epidemiological research (the stuff most likely to hit the headlines and get skewed), including sample size, correlation and causation, absolute vs. relative risk (spoiler: it has nothing to do with your family), open science, types of studies. There’s even some baseball statistics. Naturally. The Hutch is the only cancer research center named for a baseball player.

Spinning Science Series: Read all about it!

Give it a read and please share with anyone who’s a little science curious around the  edges, like me. Here’s a short link to the whole shebang:  As always, thanks for the read and #FUcancer!