Over at Respectful Insolence, Orac picked up on a comment by Dr. R.W. and said [Some excellent questions for medical reporters] ....
An excellent idea, and Dr. R.W. has a list of some things that every medical journalist should know. My favorites? These:I was surprised that Orac picked teaching the scientific method as one of his favorites. I don't think there's any such thing as a "scientifc method" that garners majority support among scientists and/or philosophers. This led to a discussion in the comments section of his post.
- Outline the scientific method. (I'm betting there are a lot of journalists out there reporting on medicine who can't outline the scientific method.)
- Explain why consideration of biologic plausibility is important in the evaluation of health claims and why evidence based medicine often fails when biologic plausibility is not taken into account. (This one is hard, but knowing the answer would eliminate a lot of truly ignorant articles like the one Parker-Pope wrote yesterday.)
What do you think? Is there a "scientific method"? If so, what is it?