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Posts Tagged "risk"

Absolutely Maybe

A Viewer’s Guide to Mammography Evidence Ping-Pong

Cartoon of woman saying you bet I have questions

You could get a very sore neck watching all the claims and counter-claims about mammography zing back and forth. It’s like a lot of evidence ping-pong matches. There are teams with strongly held opinions at the table, smashing away at opposing arguments based on different interpretations of the same data. Meanwhile, women are being advised [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

The Disease Prevention Illusion: A Tragedy in Five Parts

Cartoon of an early bird catching no worms

Act I: An ounce of “prevention.” “Prevention is better than cure.” Aphorisms like this go back a long way. And most of our dramatic triumphs against disease come from prevention: clean water, making roads and workplaces safer, antiseptic routines in hospital, reducing smoking, immunization, stemming the spread of HIV. Many of our cultural superstitions and greatest [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

(Hi)stories our bodies tell: Experiencing racism (Guest Post)

Sharecropper by Elizabeth Catlett

Guest post by Michelle Munyikwa I am currently still reveling in Black History Month. Yes, it is no longer February. But I hope to retain that mindfulness, grasping onto this moment each year that forces us to pay attention to the stories of black peoples across America and draws into stark relief how histories have [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

No guts, no glory? The fear and attraction of risky winter sports

Illustration of ski-jumping

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Science at the Sochi Olympics The one time I went flying off the side of a mountain on skis, I certainly didn’t mean to. Before I hit the ground, there was a surprising amount of time for reflection – and more on the long painful schlep down to [...]

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Guest Blog

The Lesson of the Fear of Vaccines.

Time for Society to Say Enough is Enough.          The science community laments that people deny the evidence science produces. Usually this complaint is merely descriptive, intellectual frustration sometimes tinged with arrogance. Sometimes the criticism of denialism also offers solutions, which usually include education and communication to make the deniers stop denying, to make [...]

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Guest Blog

Cell Phones, Cancer and the Dangers of Risk Perception

May 31, 2011, was a bad day for a society already wary of all sorts of risks from modern technology, a day of celebration for those who champion more concern about those risks, and a day that teaches important lessons about the messy subjective guesswork that goes into trying to make intelligent choices about risk [...]

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Guest Blog

Beware the fear of nuclear….FEAR!

It is frightening to watch what’s going on with Japan’s nuclear plant at Fukushima. It is also worrying to watch the fear racing around the world as a result of those events, fear that in some cases is far in excess of what’s going on, or even the worst case scenarios of what might happen. [...]

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Guest Blog

The perception gap: An explanation for why people maintain irrational fears

A number of wonderful books decry the public’s seemingly irrational perceptions of risk. Seth Mnookin’s The Panic Virus is the latest, and builds on Michael Specter’s Denialism and Chris Mooney’s Unscientific America. Strong as each book is, unfortunately none get to the heart of the matter, and describes not how we feel, but WHY. Why [...]

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Guest Blog

In the wake of Wakefield: Risk-perception and vaccines

Last May British medical authorities stripped Dr. Andrew Wakefield of his license to practice medicine. In case the name isn’t familiar, Wakefield was the lead author of the 1998 paper published in The Lancet (and later retracted) that set off worldwide fear of vaccines. Now the British Medical Journal has jumped in, publishing an investigative [...]

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Guest Blog

Felt up or blown up? The psychology of the TSA, body scans and risk perception

The choice between felt up or blown up seems like a no-brainer. So does the choice between the low-dose radiation exposure of a backscatter x-ray exam at the airport or getting on the plane and spending a couple hours high enough in a thinner atmosphere that you’ll get far more exposure to cosmic radiation. So [...]

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Observations

Circumcision Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

Circumcision might reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 15 percent, according to new research published online March 12 in Cancer. Of 1,754 men surveyed who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, fewer—percentage-wise—had been circumcised than the 1,645 men who did not have prostate cancer. Men with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer [...]

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Observations

Risk of Heart Disease Underestimated, Researchers Say

Heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S., and more than 27 million Americans currently have a cardiac condition. But what is your risk of developing heart disease at some point in your entire life? It might be a lot higher than you think, according to a new paper published online Wednesday in The [...]

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