Harriet Hall - Snake Oil Science
Harriet Hall, MD, also known as The SkepDoc, is a family physician and former Air Force flight surgeon who retired from the Air Force as a full colonel. A Northwest native, she grew up in Seattle, attended the University of Washington, and now resides in Puyallup, Washington. Since retiring, she has devoted her time to writing about critical thinking and medicine and to investigating the claims of alternative medicine. She is one of the editors of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, a contributing editor to both Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer magazines and a founding member and editor of the multi-physician Science-Based Medicine blog, sciencebasedmedicine.org , where she writes an article every Tuesday. She also contributes to the Quackwatch website and to James Randi’s Swift. Her book, Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly:The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon, was published in 2008. More information about her, and links to some of her writings, can be found on her website skepdoc.info .
Snake Oil Science: The Evidence for Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are new names for old fringe medical treatments that are gaining in popularity. Their advocates have realized that science matters, and they are trying to find scientific justification for things that were once accepted on the basis of testimonials and opinions. They are finding evidence, but that evidence is not always what it seems.
Believe it or not, published studies are actually more likely to be wrong than right. Why? What can go wrong in research? How can we judge the quality of a study? When can we believe a study and when should we withhold judgment? What is "Tooth Fairy science"? What is the placebo effect? CAM clearly "works" but placebos "work" too - does CAM work better than placebo? Is all the research published to date compatible with the hypothesis that no CAM method is superior to placebo? And finally, if placebos "work" is there anything wrong with using them to get that effect?
Harriet Hall, MD The SkepDoc http://www.skepdoc.info/ http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/
This event is free to all CFI members. An entry fee of $5 will apply for non-members.
Maps and directions to the library can be found here .