Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
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2012 Celebrities and Science Review
What’s new in the 2012 review?
- In 2011 Simon Cowell was responsible for the intravenous vitamin craze. This year, Cheryl Cole and Rihanna were reported to be following the trend, while Simon seems to have moved on to pocket-sized oxygen shots to inhale.
- Reports had January Jones taking dried placenta pills and Patsy Palmer rubbing coffee granules on her skin.
- In this year’s review we couldn’t avoid the Olympics, inspiring everyone to be ‘faster, higher, stronger’. If you, like us, wondered why so many sporting heroes were flaunting brightly coloured tape, read on for the science verdict.
- And celebrities have taken us back to fundamental scientific principles in biochemistry, physics, geology and medicine in their comments on monkeys, aeroplanes, homeopathy and peeing in the pool.
- But there is progress… For years we’ve challenged celebrity promotion of detox diets and immune ‘boosting’ products. This year, these long-time serial offenders have almost disappeared. Better still, in this review we are able to include celebrities – from actress Jennifer Aniston to comedian Al Murray – talking sense on food fads, vitamin supplements and alternative medicine. Gwyneth Paltrow has given up odd diets after suffering from malnutrition and others in the public eye have sought advice from Sense About Science and medical charities. Could it be that we are turning a corner?
Celebrities are also given a pull-out-and-keep page alerting them to the top 5 terms they should avoid when promoting products and practices in 2013: immune boosting; detox; superfood; oxygenating and cleansing.
“We seem to be seeing a celebrity divide on science. The implausible and frankly dangerous claims about how to avoid cancer, improve skin or lose weight are becoming ever more ridiculous. And unfortunately they have a much higher profile than the research and evidence. On the other hand, this year we have had more examples than ever sent to us of people in the public eye who clearly do check their facts, and we’re pleased to have been able to help some of them this year.”
Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense About Science
The Independent From eating placenta to rubbing coffee on your skin: how celebrities went to war against science
The Independent Editorial Are we entering a new age of Enlightenment?
Daily Mail There IS no danger to peeing in the pool like Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, confirm scientists
Daily Mail Shots of oxygen, rubbing coffee on your skin and eating placenta: Worst celebrity science tips of 2012 revealed
Daily Star Mad Fad Celebrities Get A Health Kicking
French Tribune Experts Did Not Find Alternative Treatments Effective
The Australian Celebrities snared by scientific mish-mash
Irish Independent From eating placenta to rubbing coffee on your skin: Celebrities wage war on science
Some of the broadcast coverage
BBC World Service (after 43 minutes)
BBC 5 live Drive (after 1 hour 27 minutes)
BBC Hereford & Worcester (after 47 minutes)
BBC Wales (after 1 hour 24 minutes)
Document type: Celebrities and Science review
Published: 28 December 2012