Food

Floss for fertility? Really?

As slogans go, the BBC News’s “Floss for Fertility” was definitely the catchiest. It was certainly more pleasing to the ear than alternatives such as “Brush Regularly to Get Pregnant” (as appeared in the Times of India) or “Women Who Want to Get Pregnant Need to Clean Their Teeth” (from […]

Stop the spread of the ecological fallacy

Have a look at this recently launched public health campaign, pithily titled “Stop the Spread“. It aims to address the problem of overweight in the general population. Co-ordinated by Safefood, the statutory body responsible for the promotion of food safety in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the […]

Wake up and smell the…woahhh!

Let’s get the controversy out of the way first. In the interests of full disclosure, I need to reveal an interest. I consume coffee. There. I’ve said it. Now you may think there is nothing particularly strange about that. After all, some 80% of the world’s population consume caffeinated products every […]

On your breast behaviour

While breastfeeding is of clear benefit to babies in terms of providing them with efficient and wholesome nutrition, the idea that it also stimulates cognitive and behavioural development does not currently enjoy robust empirical support. Nonetheless, this lack of empirical evidence hasn’t prevented some advocacy groups from continuing to make […]

A study not worth its salt?

This week’s news that researchers had apparently debunked the link between dietary salt intake and heart disease was surprising to say the least, but for all that it was lapped up enthusiastically by the media. Some headline writers revelled in the newness of the findings: “Scientists shake up what we […]

The Babel Fish Dilemma: Talking Science with Non-Scientists

Last night I gave a public lecture in Dublin for the Irish Skeptics Society, entitled “The Babel Fish Dilemma: Talking Science with Non-Scientists“. The Irish Skeptics, under the leadership of psychologists Paul O’Donoghue and Nóirín Buckley, have been organizing a public lecture series on science engagement, critical thinking, and skepticism […]