Jan 07 2014
Are you someone who:
- Thinks that medical interventions that are safe and effective are better than those that are unsafe or ineffective?
- Thinks that rigorously and fairly applied scientific evidence is the best way to tell the difference?
- Thinks that the public should have some basic protections against health fraud?
- Would prefer accurate health information to marketing spin and frank pseudoscience?
- Doesn’t rely on celebrities for health-care advice?
- Ever tried to commit suicide with homeopathic pills?
- Has a chill run down your spine whenever you see the word “quantum” applied to a health claim or remedy?
Well, then the Society for Science-Based Medicine (SSBM) might be right for you.
We are entering into the next phase of our collective mission to promote science in medicine. I started the SBM blog six years ago (January 2008) to provide an outlet for a group of physicians and professionals who were dedicated to opposing the rise of pseudoscience in medicine.
The primary purpose of the blog is to inform the public and our fellow health care professionals about the often complex relationship between science and the practice of medicine, and also about specific health care claims and topics that tend to be controversial or exist on the fringe.
Providing information and analysis is very useful, but clearly we need to do more. There is a great deal of motivation and money behind those who wish to water down the scientific standards on which the medical profession is (or at least should be) built.
Just today I received an e-mail from Bob Blaskiewicz noting that patients being exploited by the Burzynski clinic and his bogus “antineoplastons” have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and collected over 100,000 signatures to lobby the FDA to give an exemption for his treatments – meaning no scientific standard.
In state after state those who would benefit from the easing of regulations have pushed through “health care freedom laws” which eliminate the science-based standard of care that is supposed to protect the public from health fraud and pseudoscience in medicine.
Academia has been infiltrated at every level by those who are not honest brokers of scientific medicine, but who have an agenda to promote sectarian, culturally-based, or spiritually-based treatments.
The most famous celebrity doctors promote blatant pseudoscience to millions, tell parents not to vaccinate their children, fearmonger about the latest “toxin,” and make celebrities out of worst purveyors of medical pseudoscience.
That is why we need to be organized also. SBM and our other blogs and podcasts dedicated to science and critical thinking have helped grow our community. Now we need to become an organization.
About a year ago Mark Crislip (of QuackCast fame) came to the rest of us at SBM and made just that point. Of course we all agreed, but lamented that we lacked the time for such a major undertaking. Mark said he had the time, and over the last year he built the infrastructure of the organization, including a new website.
If you support science and critical thinking in medicine, if you want to be part of an organization that promotes science-based medicine and opposes those who would destroy the scientific standard so that they can sell their latest snake oil – now you can join the Society for Science-Based Medicine (SSBM).
I want to thank Mark for all his hard work and dedication in pushing us to this next phase in our promotion of SBM, and also all my fellow bloggers at SBM who have dedicated an incredible amount of their time and effort over the years - despite the fevered accusations of our critics, for absolutely no compensation – simply because they saw something wrong with the world and wanted to change it for the better.
Now you can be a direct part of that by joining the SSBM.
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