Book: Medical Journalism: Exposing Fact, Fiction, Fraud

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 15 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:639
  1. Kelly Loughlin, medical historian
  1. Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    Ragnar Levi

    Iowa State University Press, $34.95, pp 212

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    ISBN 0 8138 0303 9 See for ordering details

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    Answering queries posed by television researchers is part of what an academic historian does these days. This seems to be especially true when your area of interest is the history of medicine and the mass media. One recent programme idea—presented via email—struck me as particularly weak: a series of programmes looking at the way medical advice keeps changing. The researcher had lots of recent examples and wanted me to supply examples from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. I asked what she thought the interest was in documenting such a change? As a historian and keen watcher of medicine on television I hoped to hear something about the way evidence has changed over time: the demand for evidence, what counts as evidence, the rise of randomised controlled trials and of statistical notions of relative …

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