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May 15th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Critical thinking

Add Readers Digest to the growing number of media outlets that have criticized the anti-vaccine fringe. “Childhood vaccines save lives by preventing killer diseases,” writes Anne Underwood. “They’re not risk-free, but an immense amount of evidence says the risks do not include autism.”

The Trouble with Celebrity Science singles out three icons of our news and entertainment culture, and their causes célèbres: Oprah Winfrey (hormone replacement therapy); Jenny McCarthy (vaccine rejectionism); and Elizabeth Hasselback (gluten free diets). In classic RD fashion, the article sketches the background for each claim, efficiently outlines the scientific evidence against, and neatly summarized with a no-nonsense “Reader’s Digest version” of the best available evidence.

Missing is the false balance and credulous appeal to authority that is the staple of most mainstream media stories about autism. Clearly, the magazine that publishes “I Am Joe’s Duodenum” and “Humor in Uniform” can teach most journalists something about accurate science reporting.

jelita

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kathleen // May 15, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I am glad to see that my favorite Dr. office reading material is criticising the anti-vaxxers.

  • 2 Joeymom // May 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I might have to actually get a subscription.

  • 3 Do'C // May 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Missing is the false balance and credulous appeal to authority that is the staple of most mainstream media stories about autism.

    Refreshing.

  • 4 Melody // May 17, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Cool!

  • 5 Rich // May 18, 2009 at 2:43 am

    FYI — Reader’s Digest has a circulation of more than 8 million and a readership of nearly 40 million. Hard to believe the readership is that high, but that’s what RD says, and I think this makes RD the most commonly read publication in the U.S.

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