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Bad Advice

Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren't Your Best Source of Health Information
Written by: Paul A. Offit MD
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Science doesn't speak for itself. Neck-deep in work that can be messy and confounding and naïve in the ways of public communication, scientists are often unable to package their insights into the neat narratives that the public requires. Enter celebrities, advocates, lobbyists, and the funders behind them, who take advantage of scientists' reluctance to provide easy answers, flooding the media with misleading or incorrect claims about health risks. Amid this onslaught of spurious information, Americans are more confused than ever about what's good for them and what isn't. 

In Bad Advice, Paul A. Offit shares hard-earned wisdom on the dos and don'ts of battling misinformation. For the past 20 years, Offit has been on the front lines in the fight for sound science and public heath. Stepping into the media spotlight as few scientists have done - such as being one of the first to speak out against conspiracy theories linking vaccines to autism - he found himself in the crosshairs of powerful groups intent on promoting pseudoscience. Bad Advice discusses science and its adversaries: not just the manias stoked by slick charlatans and their miracle cures but also corrosive, dangerous ideologies such as Holocaust and climate-change denial.

©2018 Paul A. Offit (P)2019 Tantor

What the critics say

"The author's rare storytelling...leads to an entertaining and captivating read that is hard to put down." (Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH, Columbia University Medical Center)

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • steve
  • 2019-04-15

Ok

Not nearly as good as his other books. It could use more data, and fewer personal anecdotes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mobius_spider
  • 2019-03-22

Important and Engaging

Offit is an amazing storyteller and really digs into the hows and whys of the antivax craze. In this book, he arms readers with information about the science and history of vaccines, as well as his own experiences speaking with a variety of personalities on the subject. Patrick Lawlor is the perfect narrator, delivering Offit's dry humor with ease. This book is funny, touching, horrifying, and over way too soon.

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  • abcb
  • 2019-10-07

not engaging at all. too drawn out and plain bori

not engaging at all. too drawn out and plain boring. had factual information but told in a plain boring way...

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  • Leandro Araujo Lobo
  • 2019-12-10

Great book

A great account of the experiences in the field of science communication from one of the most important scientists in North America. Bad advice is great for scientists who wish to talk to the public, but also to anyone worried about the spread of fake news in the post truth era

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  • So
  • 2019-09-11

Enlightening

Found it to be very enlightening and educational. Highly informative. Would recommend to anyone interested in Autism research.

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  • Jared T Wilsey
  • 2019-02-06

Dr. Offit is one of my heroes.

Very much enjoyed learning of his experiences in his brave defense of science and critical thinking. Pretty sad that that requires bravery, but I digress. A lot of otherwise smart people have fallen for the load of s*&^ about vaccines. Are vaccines 100% safe? No, of course not. But it is difficult to think of any medical treatment with a superior risk benefit profile, or one that has saved so many young lives. You can’t blame “the republicans” or red states for this special breed of science denial. Idiocy cuts across the political spectrum, but have to give liberals the edge on this one.