I Don't Know What to Believe

  • Robert Mark Hagan (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


If the newspapers are to be believed red wine reduces your risk of cancer one week and then causes it the next, Ibuprofen causes heart attacks, a magical "pixie dust" will allow your body to do something it does anyway, there's uncertainty over MMR vaccines and beer is good for your bones. A single newspaper has claimed in separate stories that the internet site Facebook, soup, suncream, deodorant, chips, talcum powder and moisturisers (among others) cause cancer.

The talk would look at ways to separate the ridiculous from the plausible and how to extract the real science from the media. Tell you what you should be looking out for and why the most attractive numbers for a news article aren't the most relevant to the reader. It will explain how scientists judge research and ask questions of the scientific information presented to you.
Period12 Feb 2010
Held atUniversity of St Andrews