This is a SGEM Xtra book review. I had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Timothy Caulfield. Tim is a Canadian professor of law at the University of Alberta, the Research Director of its Health Law Institute, and current Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy. His area of expertise is in legal, policy and ethical issues in medical research and its commercialization.
Tim came on the SGEM and discussed his new book called Relax, Dammit! A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety. Listen to the podcast to hear us discuss his new book, skepticism, and science communication in general.
The SGEM has a global audience with close to 45,000 subscribers. Many of the SGEMers live in the US and Tim’s book has a different title in America. It is called Your Day Your Way: The Facts and Fictions Behind Your Daily Decisions. Tim gives some insight on the podcast why there is a different title in Canada and the US.
Tim and I met in 2015 at the Canadian Associate of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Annual Conference in Edmonton. He was a keynote speaker and discussed his previous book Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything? How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness. Tim gave a fantastic presentation. I was in Edmonton talking nerdy as part of the CAEP TV initiative. We have been in contact via social media ever since trying to improve science communication.
Besides writing books, Tim has stared in his own Netflix series called: A User guide to Cheating Death. He has also collaborated Dr. Jennifer Gunter who wrote the book The Vagina Bible. Dr. Gunter visited BatDoc a few years ago for an SGEM Xtra extra episode.
A Few of Professor Caulfield’s academic publications:
- Commentary: the law, unproven CAM and the two‐hats fallacy. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 17: 4-8.
- Stem cell hype: Media portrayal of therapy translation. Science Translational Medicine.11 Mar 2015: Vol. 7, Issue 278, pp. 278ps4
- Injecting doubt: responding to the naturopathic anti-vaccination rhetoric. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Volume 4, Issue 2, August 2017, Pages 229–249
- COVID-19 and ‘immune boosting’ on the internet: a content analysis of Google search.
Previous books reviewed on the SGEM:
- Jeanne Lenzer The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle to Survive It.
- Dr. Steven Novella Skeptics Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake.
- Dr. Brian Goldman The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life
Tim’s new book Relax Dammit! is organized into the day in the life of Tim Caulfield. It discusses the science behind our daily activities. On the podcast Tim provides five examples that he thinks might be interesting to the SGEM audience. This includes: Breakfast, coffee, commuting to work, napping and raw milk.
I hope you like this type of SGEM Xtra. Let me know what you think and I will consider doing more book reviews with authors if the feedback is positive.
The SGEM will be back episode with a structured critical review of a recent publication trying to cut the knowledge translation window down from over ten years to less than one year.