Why Real Scientists Need to Become Famous

December 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

Here is a story out of McMaster University that convinced me that it’s not what you know that makes you influential, it’s who knows you. While scientists have much to add to the public’s knowledge of medicine, unfortunately, more people take medical advice from the rich and famous than they do from genuine scientists.

It may be that people can’t help themselves from taking health advice from celebrities. Ultimately, they want to be more like the people they admire.

In a paper published in British Medical Journal Wednesday, McMaster researchers ask why so many people follow medical advice from celebrities when so much of it is ill-informed and potentially harmful.

At times, celebrity advice conflicts with research evidence and recommendations from health professionals, and celebrity endorsements can pose a real public health hazard.

“Our brains, psyches and societies appear to be hard-wired to give celebrities influence over our health decisions,” said lead author Steven J. Hoffman, an assistant professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Read more …

Entry filed under: Of Interest.

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