Tim O’Shea – Rocky Mountain Bad Science: How Misinformation and Magical Thinking Is Hurting Colorado (June 16, 2016 @ 12:30 p.m.)

June 12, 2016 at 10:48 am

From an email Tim send me
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Colorado: we’re known for our sunny skies, beautiful mountains, and active lifestyles. Everyone here eats granola, wears a flannel shirt, has a mountain bike, loves nature and is super healthy.

So who needs science?

From fad food diets and wonder herbs to energy healing and nexus knowledge, these days it seems everyone has the latest cure or technological marvel. But how do we tell the genuine from the junk? (Hint: one of the 4 things listed just now is completely made up.)

If you think you can’t be fooled, think again. The purveyors of pseudoscience are very skilled at presenting themselves as legitimate enterprises. Using 21st-century-sounding phrases such as “intuitive technology,” “clinical herbalism” and “neurotransmitter balancing,” they cloak themselves as real science to peddle their bogus methodologies.

While these entities are nothing new in Colorado, they have become more powerful and more dangerous, and we are starting to see the consequences of their influence. People are using superstition and magic to treat medical conditions, holding beliefs about biotechnologies that aren’t true, and ignoring scientific consensuses in favor of personal biases.

With fun and good humor, Tim O’Shea will take you through a checklist to spot the key red flags that reveal certain products and services as nonscientific. We’ll also discuss the increasingly negative impact these entities are having on public health, as well as the social and political implications of their lobbying the state legislature to get their dangerous ideologies passed into law.

Tim O’Shea is the founder and director of the Colorado Alliance for the Understanding of Science (CAUSe), a 501(c)3 educational organization dedicated to expanding, promoting and improving the public understanding of science in Colorado.
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