Skeptic Check: Science Breaking Bad
(repeat) The scientific method is tried and true. It has led us to a reliable understanding of things from basic physics to biomedicine. So yes, we can rely on the scientific method. The fallible humans behind the research, not so much. And politicians? Don’t get us started. Remember when one brought a snowball to the Senate floor to “prove” that global warming was a hoax? Oy vey.
We talk to authors about new books that seem to cast a skeptical eye on the scientific method… but that are really throwing shade on the ambitious labcoat-draped humans who heat the beakers and publish the papers … as well as the pinstriped politicians who twist science to win votes.
Find out why the hyper-competitive pursuit of results that are “amazing” and “incredible” is undermining medical science … how a scientific breakthrough can turn into a societal scourge (heroin as miracle cure) … and what happens when civil servants play the role of citizen scientists on CSPAN.
- Richard Harris - NPR science correspondent, author of Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions.
Paul Offit - Professor of pediatrics, attending physician, Division of Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, author of Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong.
Dave Levitan - Science journalist, author of Not a Scientist; How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent and Utterly Mangle Science.
originally aired May 22, 2017