Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Snake Oil Science

R. Barker Bausell is a research methodologist, which means he is a scientist with expertise in designing and analyzing data. He was director of research at the University of Maryland's NIH funded Complementary Medicine Program (Center for Integrative Medicine) for five years. He is a stickler for high-quality scientific evidence. The book: Snake Oil Science, The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was written in 2007. So it is a little old, but it contains a wealth of information about how science is done and the methodologies involved. He defines what good methodology and therefore results from an experiment is. He surveys the data done to date of publication of the book. He does an excellent job in defining what placebo effect is and relates it to the CAM movement. He is one who has been and seen both sides. His conclusion is that CAM is just so much horse manure. I definitely recommend his book. But as someone once said a true believer turns off the thinking part of the brain.

Skeptical DoDo

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