Health

A fishy tale: Omega-3, Alzheimer’s, and IQ

The Irish Times’s tolerance for pseudoscientific health claims has been discussed here before. This week, as if responding to an impulse, the Times again published a controversial health story under the guise of grassroots health activism. On this occasion, the Times are promoting the claim that omega-3 fish oils have […]

“Radiation is good for Japan”: Coulter’s case dissected

Have a listen to Ann Coulter talking to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News last week (the show aired on St Patrick’s Day, hence O’Reilly’s green tie). Coulter is a social conservative columnist and lawyer, well known in the US for her right-wing diatribes. Here she is talking about recent events […]

Reiki, cancer, and the problem of informed consent

Reiki is a complementary therapy in which a therapist’s hands are placed on — or simply near — a patient’s body, with the intention of redirecting what are purported to be vital energy flows in order to enhance the patient’s physical health and well-being. The main problem with Reiki is […]

When is a nuclear meltdown not a nuclear meltdown?

The horror of human suffering caused by the catastrophe in Japan is vicariously traumatic, and only compounded by the fearful prospect of mass radioactivity contamination. News organizations have a pivotal role when reporting such events in both informing and, if appropriate, reassuring a frightened public. In reality, of course, the […]

Can geography affect depression treatment?

The Guardian published some of their own research last week, examining the variations that exist in prescription rates for antidepressants across the UK. The headline statistics were shocking in various ways. Firstly, the Guardian found that the rate of antidepressant prescriptions varied massively from area to area, such that prescription […]

The Irish Times: Promoting homeopathy, endangering children?

The Irish Times is the so-called “newspaper of record” in Ireland. It has a reputation for being Ireland’s leading print source of intellectual commentary and political analysis. It is widely regarded as maintaining impeccable journalistic standards and of being one of Europe’s leading newspapers. However, when it comes to alternative […]