My guidelines for “Hard Conversations”
Soon I’ll be posting the first in a new column of posts for me – “Hard Conversations”. In Hard Conversations I’ll be discussing a variety of science or medical issues generally being talked about in the popular press. Generally speaking, these will be posts discussing what many call pseudoscience, mocktroversy, or otherwise what I’ll call “Bad Medicine.”
I want to be clear; there isn’t any scientific controversy in what I’ll be writing about, only media hype. I’m calling them “Hard Conversations” because I will be discussing things people hold strong and cherished beliefs about, in long, generally multi-part posts. Often we’ll be discussing things people hold responsible for their own pain and suffering. For example the first Conversation will be about vaccines and autism. I understand just how polarizing these issues can be. I’m not aiming to just shout at suffering people and say “Can’t you see the science! Don’t be stupid!” I think a lot of bloggers do that sort of thing much better than I would. Make no mistake though, I will not compromise science. Ethically, and morally, I have an obligation to explain these issues to the best understanding we have in the medical world. I’m not going to pander to people who specialize, knowingly or unknowingly, in giving people false hope or false beliefs to make money, or for their own perverse pleasure.
These posts to be a resource for people affected by the conditions I write about, or people who believe the ideas I explain. These posts aren’t aimed at the advocates on either side of the debate. Generally you guys already have far too strong opinions on these subjects for me to attempt to influence.
Since I’m aiming these posts at people affected by serious conditions, or their loved ones, respect is extremely important. I will take a heavy hand to disrespectful comments by anyone, on either side of the issue. Please take a second look at my disclaimers page and review my policy on banning users.
Once again, the first Hard Conversation will be about vaccines and autism, part one will be coming to a blog near you soon!
As for now, Enjoy!