Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks

Hardcover | November 22, 2016

byGeoffrey C. Kabat

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Do cell phones cause brain cancer? Does BPA threaten our health? How safe are certain dietary supplements, especially those containing exotic herbs or small amounts of toxic substances? Is the HPV vaccine safe? We depend on science and medicine as never before, yet there is widespread misinformation and confusion, amplified by the media, regarding what influences our health. In Getting Risk Right, Geoffrey C. Kabat shows how science works-and sometimes doesn't-and what separates these two very different outcomes.

Kabat seeks to help us distinguish between claims that are supported by solid science and those that are the result of poorly designed or misinterpreted studies. By exploring different examples, he explains why certain risks are worth worrying about, while others are not. He emphasizes the variable quality of research in contested areas of health risks, as well as the professional, political, and methodological factors that can distort the research process. Drawing on recent systematic critiques of biomedical research and on insights from behavioral psychology, Getting Risk Right examines factors both internal and external to the science that can influence what results get attention and how questionable results can be used to support a particular narrative concerning an alleged public health threat. In this book, Kabat provides a much-needed antidote to what has been called "an epidemic of false claims."

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From the Publisher

Do cell phones cause brain cancer? Does BPA threaten our health? How safe are certain dietary supplements, especially those containing exotic herbs or small amounts of toxic substances? Is the HPV vaccine safe? We depend on science and medicine as never before, yet there is widespread misinformation and confusion, amplified by the med...

Geoffrey C. Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has studied a wide range of lifestyle and environmental factors associated with cancer and other diseases. He is the author of Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology (2008) and writes a regular colum...

other books by Geoffrey C. Kabat

Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology
Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Lif...

Kobo ebook|Jul 7 2008

$23.09 online$29.99list price(save 23%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:November 22, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023116646X

ISBN - 13:9780231166461

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPreface: Why Do Things That Are Unlikely to Harm Us Get the Most Attention?List of Abbreviations1. The Illusion of Validity and the Power of "Negative Thinking"2. Splendors and Miseries of Associations3. When Risk Goes Viral: Biases and Bandwagons4. Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer? A Tale of Two Sciences5. Hormonal Confusion: The Contested Science of Endocrine Disruption6. Deadly Remedy: A Mysterious Disease, a Medicinal Herb, and the Recognition of a Worldwide Public Health Threat7. HPV, Cancer, and Beyond: The Anatomy of a TriumphConclusionAppendix: List of InterviewsNotesGlossaryBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

An important study that teaches how to decipher science and medical news.