Getting Risk Right

Author: Geoffrey C Kabat
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231542852
Release Date: 2016-11-22
Genre: Medical

Do cell phones cause brain cancer? Does BPA threaten our health? How safe are certain dietary supplements, especially those containing exotic herbs or small amounts of toxic substances? What role does HPV play in the development of cervical cancer, and is the HPV vaccine safe? In four detailed case studies, Geoffrey C. Kabat shows how science works or sometimes doesn’t and what distinguishes these two very different outcomes. We depend on science and medicine like never before, yet there is widespread misinformation and confusion, amplified by the media, regarding what influences our health. Getting Risk Right helps general readers distinguish between claims that are supported by solid science and those that are the result of poorly designed or misinterpreted studies. In doing so, he shows us why certain risks are worth worrying about while others are not. Attempts to explain antiscience attitudes often focus on irrational fears and beliefs and the powerful role of business interests. These factors matter, but Kabat also emphasizes the variable quality of research in contested areas of health risks and the professional, political, and methodological factors that can distort the research process. Drawing on recent work in the “meta-analysis” of biomedical research and on insights from leading thinkers, including John Ioannides, Daniel Kahneman, and Cass Sunstein, this groundbreaking book examines factors both internal and external to the science that influence what results get attention and how questionable results can be used to support a particular narrative concerning an alleged public health threat. Kabat, a leading public health thinker, provides a much-needed antidote to what has been called “an epidemic of false claims.”

Getting Risk Right

Author: Geoffrey C. Kabat
Publisher:
ISBN: 023116646X
Release Date: 2016-11-22
Genre: Health & Fitness

Do cell phones cause brain cancer? Does BPA threaten our health? How safe are certain dietary supplements, especially those containing exotic herbs or small amounts of toxic substances? What role does the HPV virus play in the development of cervical cancer, and is the HPV vaccine safe? In four detailed case studies, Geoffrey C. Kabat shows how science works... and sometimes doesn't, and what distinguishes these two very different outcomes. We depend on science and medicine as never before, yet there is widespread misinformation and confusion, amplified by the media, regarding what influences our health. Kabat's goal in Getting Risk Right is to enable the general reader to distinguish between claims that are supported by solid science and those that are the result of poorly-designed or misinterpreted studies. By exploring different examples, he shows us why certain risks are worth worrying about, while others are not. Attempts to explain anti-science attitudes often focus on irrational fears and beliefs and on the powerful role of business interests. While these factors matter, Kabat emphasizes the variable quality of research in contested areas of health risks and the professional, political, and methodological factors that can distort the research process. Drawing on recent work in the "meta-analysis" of biomedical research and on insights from leading thinkers including John Ioannides, Daniel Kahneman, and Cass Sunstein, this groundbreaking work examines factors both internal and external to the science that can influence what results get attention and how questionable results can be used to support a particular narrative concerning an alleged public health threat. Kabat, a leading public health thinker, provides a much-needed antidote to what has been called "an epidemic of false claims."

Hyping Health Risks

Author: Geoffrey C. Kabat
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231141499
Release Date: 2011-11-11
Genre: Medical

The media constantly bombard us with news of health hazards lurking in our everyday lives. But many of these hazards turn out to have been greatly overblown. According to author and epidemiologist Geoffrey C. Kabat, this hyping of low-level environmental hazards leads to needless anxiety and confusion on the part of the public about which exposures have important effects on health and which are likely to have minimal or no effect. Kabat approaches health scares as "social facts" and shows that a variety of factors can contribute to the inflaming of a hazard. ... By means of four case studies, Kabat demonstrates how a powerful confluence of interests can lead to overstating or distorting scientific evidence. He examines the health risks of pollutants sucha s DDT as a cause of breast cancer, electromagnetic fields from power lines, radon within residences, and secondhand tobacco smoke. Tracing the trajectory of each of these hazards from its initial emergence to the present, Kabat shows how publication of more rigorous studies and critical assessments ultimately helped put the hazard in perspective.--Book jacket flap.

Genes Brains and Human Potential

Author: Ken Richardson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231543767
Release Date: 2017-03-21
Genre: Science

For countless generations people have been told that their potential as humans is limited and fundamentally unequal. The social order, they have been assured, is arranged by powers beyond their control. More recently the appeal has been to biology, specifically the genes, brain sciences, the concept of intelligence, and powerful new technologies. Reinforced through the authority of science and a growing belief in bio-determinism, the ordering of the many for the benefit of a few has become more entrenched. Yet scientists are now waking up to the influence of ideology on research and its interpretation. In Genes, Brains, and Human Potential, Ken Richardson illustrates how the ideology of human intelligence has infiltrated genetics, brain sciences, and psychology, flourishing in the vagueness of basic concepts, a shallow nature-versus-nurture debate, and the overhyped claims of reductionists. He shows how ideology, more than pure science, has come to dominate our institutions, especially education, encouraging fatalism about the development of human intelligence among individuals and societies. Genes, Brains, and Human Potential goes much further: building on work being done in molecular biology, epigenetics, dynamical systems, evolution theory, and complexity theory, it maps a fresh understanding of intelligence and the development of human potential. Concluding with an upbeat message for human possibilities, this synthesis of diverse perspectives will engender new conversations among students, researchers, and other interested readers.

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids

Author: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309453042
Release Date: 2017-05-01
Genre: Medical

Significant changes have taken place in the policy landscape surrounding cannabis legalization, production, and use. During the past 20 years, 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis and/or cannabidiol (a component of cannabis) for medical conditions or retail sales at the state level and 4 states have legalized both the medical and recreational use of cannabis. These landmark changes in policy have impacted cannabis use patterns and perceived levels of risk. However, despite this changing landscape, evidence regarding the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use remains elusive. While a myriad of studies have examined cannabis use in all its various forms, often these research conclusions are not appropriately synthesized, translated for, or communicated to policy makers, health care providers, state health officials, or other stakeholders who have been charged with influencing and enacting policies, procedures, and laws related to cannabis use. Unlike other controlled substances such as alcohol or tobacco, no accepted standards for safe use or appropriate dose are available to help guide individuals as they make choices regarding the issues of if, when, where, and how to use cannabis safely and, in regard to therapeutic uses, effectively. Shifting public sentiment, conflicting and impeded scientific research, and legislative battles have fueled the debate about what, if any, harms or benefits can be attributed to the use of cannabis or its derivatives, and this lack of aggregated knowledge has broad public health implications. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids provides a comprehensive review of scientific evidence related to the health effects and potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis. This report provides a research agendaâ€"outlining gaps in current knowledge and opportunities for providing additional insight into these issuesâ€"that summarizes and prioritizes pressing research needs.

Epidemiologic Methods

Author: Noel S. Weiss
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199387786
Release Date: 2014-07-03
Genre: Medical

This second edition of Epidemiologic Methods offers a rigorous introduction to the concepts and tools of epidemiologic research. Aimed chiefly at future epidemiologists, the book offers clear descriptions, practical examples, and question/answer sections for each of the science's key concepts. Authored by two award-winning epidemiology instructors, this book is ideally suited for use as a text in a graduate-level course sequence in epidemiologic methods. The book's chapters are organized around three main themes: general concepts and tools of epidemiology; major study designs; and special topics, including screening, outbreak investigations, and use of epidemiology to evaluate policies and programs. With additional exercises at the end of each chapter and expanded attention to topics such as confounding, this new edition of Epidemiologic Methods is an indispensable resource for the next generation of epidemiologic study.

Counting Sheep

Author: Paul Martin
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781466848146
Release Date: 2013-07-02
Genre: Health & Fitness

Does the early bird really catch the worm, or end up healthy, wealthy, and wise? Can some people really exist on just a few hours' sleep a night? Does everybody dream? Do fish dream? How did people cope before alarm clocks and caffeine? And is anybody getting enough sleep? Even though we will devote a third of our lives to sleep, we still know remarkably little about its origins and purpose. Paul Martin's Counting Sheep answers these questions and more in this illuminating work of popular science. Even the wonders of yawning, the perils of sleepwalking, and the strange ubiquity of nocturnal erections are explained in full. To sleep, to dream: Counting Sheep reflects the centrality of these activities to our lives and can help readers respect, understand, and extract more pleasure from that delicious time when they're lost to the world.

A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age

Author: David J. Helfand
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231541022
Release Date: 2016-02-16
Genre: Education

We all swim in a sea of Big Data, dangerously vulnerable to the unscientific thinking that now replaces the critical faculties we used to rely on. We seek simple explanations where complexity is required. But as we endeavor to solve global problems of energy, food, and water shortages, a planetary biodiversity crisis, and emerging threats to our public health, the development of scientific habits of mind becomes even more essential for our survival. We fear numbers and prefer neat and simple solutions to complex problems, but scientific reasoning plays a central role in combating misinformation and is one of our best tools for meeting the upcoming crises of our century. From confronting our fear of quantitative reasoning and demystifying graphs to elucidating the key concepts of probability and data analysis and the use of precise language and logic, this book supplies an essential set of apps for the frontal cortex while making science both accessible and entertaining. Who says it has to be dull to learn to think like a scientist? Who says only a few can do it? Not David Helfand, one of our nation’s leading astronomers and science educators. Helfand has taught scientific habits of mind to generations of Columbia University undergraduates, where he continues to wage a provocative and necessary battle against sloppy thinking and the encroachment of misinformation.

On the Other Hand

Author: Howard I. Kushner
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421423333
Release Date: 2017-08-25
Genre: Education

Written in a lively style that mixes personal biography with scholarly research, On the Other Hand tells a comprehensive story about the science, traditions, and prejudices surrounding left-handedness.

Umbrellas in Bloom

Author: Jason Y. Ng
Publisher:
ISBN: 988137653X
Release Date: 2016-10-01
Genre: Political Science

The Umbrella Movement put Hong Kong on the world map and elevated this docile, money-minded Asian island to a model for pro-democracy campaigns across the globe. Umbrellas in Bloom is the first book in English to chronicle this history-making event, written by a bestselling author and columnist based on his firsthand experience at the main protest sites.

An American Sickness

Author: Elisabeth Rosenthal
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698407183
Release Date: 2017-04-11
Genre: Medical

A New York Times bestseller. At a moment of drastic political upheaval, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system - and offers practical solutions to its myriad problems. “Patients can save thousands of dollars by purchasing An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal.”— New York Journal of Books In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast? Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries—the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers—that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw. The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.

Improving How Universities Teach Science

Author: Carl Wieman
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674978928
Release Date: 2017-05-22
Genre: Science

Too many universities remain wedded to outmoded ways of teaching. Too few departments ask whether what happens in their lecture halls is effective at helping students to learn and how they can encourage their faculty to teach better. But real change is possible, and Carl Wieman shows us how it can be done—through detailed, tested strategies.

Health Analytics

Author: Jason Burke
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118733950
Release Date: 2013-06-18
Genre: Business & Economics

A hands-on, analytics road map for health industry leaders The industry-wide transformation taking place across the health and life sciences ecosystem is mandating that organizations adopt new decision-making capabilities, based on science and real-world information. Analytics will be a required competency for the modern health enterprise; this book is about how to "cross the chasm." The ultimate analytics guide for the health industry leader, this essential book equips business leaders with little-to-no experience in analytics to understand how to incorporate analytics as a cornerstone of their 21st century competitive business strategy. Paints the picture for a new health enterprise, one focused on the patient Explores the financial components of this new operating model, using analytics to optimize the tradeoffs between cost and value Deals with the rising role of the consumer, using analytics to create a completely new health engagement model with individual recipients of care Looks at how analytics can drive innovations in care practice, patient-experienced medical outcomes, and analytically driven novel therapies optimized for the individual patient Presents a variety of text, tables, and graphics illustrating the various concepts being described Within each section and chapter, Health Analytics assesses the current landscape, proposing a new model/concept, sharing real-world stories of how the old and new world come together, and framing a "how-to" for the reader in terms of growing that particular set of capabilities in their own enterprises.

Do You Believe in Magic

Author: Paul A. Offit, M.D.
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
ISBN: 0062222988
Release Date: 2014-05-13
Genre: Medical

A half century ago, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese herbs, Christian exorcisms, dietary supplements, chiropractic manipulations, and ayurvedic remedies were considered on the fringe of medicine. Now these practices—known variably as alternative, complementary, holistic, or integrative medicine—have become mainstream, used by half of all Americans today to treat a variety of conditions, from excess weight to cancer. But alternative medicine is an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks, and many popular alternative therapies are ineffective, expensive, or even deadly. In Do You Believe in Magic? Dr. Offit debunks the treatments that don't work and tells us why, and takes on the media celebrities who promote alternative medicine. Using dramatic real-life stories, he separates the sense from the nonsense, explaining why any therapy—alternative or traditional—should be scrutinized. As Dr. Offit explains, some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, but "there's no such thing as alternative medicine. There's only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't."

Inspired Nurse

Author: Rich Bluni
Publisher:
ISBN: 1622180046
Release Date: 2013-07-19
Genre: Medical

The same qualities that make nursing so deeply rewarding can also make it a challenge, over time, to sustain your energy and passion. Learn to maintain and recapture those elusive qualities.