Kent Bottles, MD, recently wrote an interesting post about the discrepancies in the science world. According to Dr. Bottles, it is difficult for the average individual to evaluate the latest scientific breakthrough reported in the news. Because science does not supply us with truth or certainty, it leaves us to determine what is true and what is false (and it is often later contradicted by newer scientific studies). Take for example the conflicting headlines in two major U.S. newspapers this past November regarding a federal panel’s recommendations on consumer intake of vitamin D. The Wall Street Journal’s headline read, “Triple That Vitamin D Intake, Panel Prescribes,” while the New York Times headline stated, “Extra Vitamin D and Calcium Aren’t Necessary.” Which newspaper should consumers trust? According to Dr. Bottles, both are correct. So where does that leave the consumer who is trying to make sense of this information? As Dr. Bottles states in his post:
“What I take away from this is that the skeptical consumer needs to be wary of all the new advice coming from scientific breakthrough studies reported in the lay press.”
This is an extraordinary post by Dr. Bottles. I follow Kent on Twitter (@Kent Bottles) and have found him to be a terrific source of sound thinking! If you aren’t familiar with Kent, I invite you to meet him online by either visiting his blog or by following him on Twitter.
For more, check out Kent’s post on his “The Health Care Blog”: http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the_health_care_blog/2010/12/the-difficult-science.html#more.
Post by Dan Dunlop with Stephanie Cohen, Jennings Intern and UNC-Chapel Hill Student