[Crossposted from New Books in Public Policy] This week New Books in Public Policy interviews Bob Goldberg about his new book Tabloid Medicine: How the Internet Is Being Used to Hijack Medical Science for Fear and Profit (Simon & Schuster, 2010). The book is a look at the way medical science is discussed and played out over the Internet. As Goldberg says on his website, tabloid medicine is "medical reporting or information based on or consisting of Internet material that sensationalizes and exaggerate the dangers of medical technology without describing the benefits."
In the interview, Goldberg talks about both this problem and its implications, from parents refusing to vaccinate their children to suicidal people avoiding antidepressants for fear of overhyped side effects. He also discusses the role of those who seek to foment fear, as well as discredit their opponents, using new media and innuendo regarding inappropriate conflicts of interest.
Finally, Bob takes on the New Books in Public Policy signature question, "What policies would you initiate if you were king for a day?" and gives his policy prescriptions for addressing the problem of Tabloid Medicine.