Truth, Lies and Public Health

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Truth, Lies, and Public Health: How We Are Affected When Science and Politics Collide
Truth, Lies, and Public Health: How We Are Affected When Science and Politics Collide is a new book exploring the interaction between science and politics in the public health arena. I have not read it and am not recommending for or against … just letting you know it is there.
The editorial review reads as follows: The “politicalization” of research findings has become prevalent over the past two decades. Politics often prevents the implementation of policy supported by irrefutable science. Most of us understand something about how this is happening with stem cell research, but Cornell’s Madelon Finkel delves deep into the subject to make the issues clear, also revealing how ideology and politics are distorting, diminishing, and destroying scientific research results regarding topics from needle exchange to medical marijuana use and HIV/AIDS prevention.

When ideology–whether it is the ideology of scientists and clinicians or of politicians–distorts scientific findings and public health judgment, public welfare is endangered, potentially affecting every person in our nation. Finkel also discusses how research is funded and how ideology has influenced that process. Numerous examples are given to illustrate the consequences of co-opting the scientific integrity of a program in this way. Public health policies traced back and discussed in this book include those focused on: Contraception, The Global AIDS epidemic, Stem Cell research, Marijuana as medicine, Needle exchange programs, Tuberculosis control, Dietary supplements, Silicone breast implants, Obesity, Vaccination and disease prevention…

Wow, that’s a lot. I eagerly await reviews by some of my fellow bloggers inclined in this area. The same author also wrote Understanding the Mammography Controversy: Science, Politics, and Breast Cancer Screening and about 8 other books.

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