The Summer Beach Read You’ve Been Missing: Dr. Offit’s latest book, “Bad Advice”
Jul 27, 2018

By: Erica DeWald, Director, Advocacy Every Child By Two

Looking for your final summer beach read but tired of the same old thrillers, political exposés and romance novels?  Look no further than the latest offering from Dr. Paul Offit, Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information.

 

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photo by Nicholas Pisani

You may be asking yourself, “Nonfiction? About health advice? I just want something fun and entertaining.” Think of Dr. Offit as that one teacher who always made learning fun. In fact, he’s been described by some as the Neil deGrasse Tyson of medicine. Offit’s quick wit will keep you laughing as he also manages to break down complex scientific and medical concepts.

Throughout the book, Dr. Offit takes us on his personal journey as he transitioned from a guy in a lab, trying to create a vaccine that could eventually save over 200,000 lives a year, to one of the world’s most renown speakers on vaccines. He has done so while facing some of the toughest interviewers and government panels. His secret to success? Trial and error. Not every speech he’s given has been a rousing success, nor has he always managed to convince his audience that the science is right. He has gathered these anecdotes into a series of lessons so others can learn from his mistakes.

His topic is particularly timely given the current conversation around what constitutes “fake news” and who we should view as experts. Social media has given celebrities outsized platforms beyond the usual movie or album release. While many of these individuals are well-meaning, they often base their opinions on the same unsubstantiated information you or I read online.

Which brings us to the topic of activists. In today’s interconnected world, it’s much easier to find individuals who are passionate about the same causes as you, whether it’s vaccines, GMOs, or plastic straws. Individual activists can quickly become seen as leaders, but does that make them experts? Too often their expertise is based on research they’ve conducted online or they are even influenced by monetary interests. Dr. Offit reminds us to always consider what an activist’s motivations may be, and whether they truly rank among the experts in their fields.

In all, Bad Advice is a quick read that will give you some faith that, ultimately, science and facts will win the day if we just communicate it in the right way. And it’ll give you hope that you can ultimately recover from that really awkward comment you just made.

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Bad Advice is currently for sale on Amazon.com and at all major book retailers, along with other fascinating books by Dr. Offit.

If you buy the book at Amazon Smile, please consider selecting Every Child By Two as your charity of choice.  This will ensure that 0.5% of the purchase price of all your purchases will be given to support our ongoing efforts to educate the public about the life-saving value of vaccines.

 

 


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