(Des liens vers des ressources francophones sont publiés plus bas!)
I’m sometimes asked for names of people and organizations who do good work separating sense from nonsense on matters of health. The following is not an exhaustive list but a starting point. If you’re hungry for more, you can see whom I follow on Twitter (though not everyone I follow spreads good information; I have to keep an eye out on Dr. Oz and his ilk, you know?)
A website dedicated to providing an up-to-date critical analysis of pseudosciences like acupuncture and homeopathy and to criticizing bad studies in medicine. Coverage of the infiltration of alternative medicine in academia; book and movie reviews; articles about bad science in pediatrics and dentistry; and posts on how critical thinking skills can be applied to healthcare. Some of the posts seem to be written more for fellow healthcare professionals than a non-expert public, but well worth bookmarking. If it’s a health fad, they’ve probably covered it.
A treasure trove of deeply researched information on the diseases that cause us pain and the treatments often touted to help treat it. I learned a lot of myths about massage therapy that I had taken for granted! As a bonus, this site, designed by Paul Ingraham, is quite possibly the clearest, most user friendly I have seen of its type, with a sleek reference management tool that makes asides and further readings very easy to access.
Quite possibly the best known critic of health-related pseudoscience in Canada. Health policy expert by day, writer and TV show host by night, and Twitterer… well, seemingly 24 hours a day.
Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12850570-the-cure-for-everything?from_search=true
Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23232032-is-gwyneth-paltrow-wrong-about-everything?from_search=true
TV Show (now on Netflix!): https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7532396/
McGill Office for Science and Society
Bias alert: I work there. For nearly 20 years, this (possibly one of a kind) office at McGill University, under the direction of Joe Schwarcz, Ph.D., has debunked quackery, investigated questionable claims, and provided the public with fun facts about chemistry.
Cracked Science on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNo_TfnLoHWZBfovVLL9IYBECHUtlY314
Dr. Joe’s column in the Montreal Gazette: http://montrealgazette.com/author/joe-schwarcz-special-to-the-montreal-gazette
Dr. Joe’s radio show: https://soundcloud.com/cjad800/sets/dr-joe-schwarcz-show
Michael Marshall, The Good Thinking Society, and the Merseyside Skeptics Society
A fantastic network of resources from the United Kingdom on critical thinking and skeptical activism. They showed the world that “homeopathy, there’s nothing in it”; they pressured the government in England to stop funding it; and they continue to impress by being active defenders of good thinking.
Healthy But Smart
A website that looks into common health claims (does chamomille have any health benefits?) by essentially conducting systematic reviews of the evidence. Their in-depth coverage of the evidence makes good use of highlights and “bottom line” conclusions, and they are very transparent in the studies they looked at. Some of their articles tend to be overly generous with regards to lower-quality evidence but overall, well worth a look!
An incredible website dedicated to investigating rumours on the Internet. Did the American government admit that the flu shot was the most dangerous vaccine in America? Did this woman break her neck twerking? Did a brain-eating amoeba kill a woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water? Basically, if your question is, “Is it true? I saw it on the Internet”, they’ve looked into it.
Britt Hermes and Naturopathic Diaries
An ex-naturopath and whistleblower. If you really want to know what naturopathy is about and what naturopaths learn in school, this is the place to go.
Because parental intuition does not always lead you to the right decision, these pro-science moms are leading the pack in showing you what’s dangerous and what’s not. Hormones in meat, genetically engineered food, vaccines, head lice and more!
An investigator and debunker of pseudoscience with a background in chemistry, Myles has made numerous, in-depth videos about AIDS denialism, the 9/11 Truther movement, the anti-vaccination movement, glyphosate, extreme health quackery and conspiracy theories of all types.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/powerm1985/featured
Nick Saik and Know Ideas Media
A filmmaker dedicated to highlighting good information about agriculture and our food supply.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvroQE2kXCeo-oUc6za7mrA
A resource dedicated to fighting back against the mangling of scientific studies by the media. A great way to find out about the differences between observational and experimental studies, and about how common studies on nutrition get progressively distorted, from the researchers’ original article all the way to major journalistic publications.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff
A weight-loss expert who frequently denounces on his blog and on Twitter bad messages about eating.
Ryan pushes back against alternative medicine in Canada (particularly Ontario). Involved with Bad Science Watch and owner of the blog Post-Truth Health. Particularly active on Twitter.
Julia Belluz and Brian Resnick for Vox
Two of Vox’s journalists who are doing excellent work reporting on health, especially with the contextualization of new studies.
Medical sciences correspondent for CBC National News.
A cat on Twitter who comprehensively documents every bit of media coverage on health fraud.
Dr. Paul Offit
Professor of pediatric infectious diseases and vocal defender of the safety of vaccines.
A long-running magazine dedicated to promoting skepticism.
Olivier Bernard, le Pharmachien
Un incontournable. A-t-il besoin d’être introduit?
Journaliste scientifique qui écrit pour L’Actualité.
Urgentologue et communicateur médical au sein de L’Actualité.
Journaliste au Soleil.
Média indépendant à but non lucratif qui couvre les nouvelles scientifiques et qui, par son Détecteur de rumeurs, vérifie les nouvelles fausses et un peu moins fausses qui se répandent dans les médias.
Magazine québécois qui informe le public en matière de science et technologie.
Site web: https://www.quebecscience.qc.ca