The book can engage and enlighten regarding the complex context in which known and suspected health risks are identified, explored, and acted on.
(Barbara Gastel, M.D., M.P.H The New England Journal of Medicine
A strong, valuable corrective to public understanding of the debate of environmental hazards... Highly Recommended.
Reading and reflecting on the thesis of this book can only help epidemiologists be more aware of our place in society and thus be more effective contributors.
(David A. Savitz American Journal of Epidemiology
With clarity and dispassion, Geoffrey C. Kabat challenges widespread beliefs that secondhand smoke, low levels of radon, and other ostensible environmental nemeses are certain killers. In making his case, Kabat draws extensively on scientific evidence while shunning rhetoric and political posturing. The result is an admirable search for scientific truth amid a sea of conflicting and often uninformed opinions.
(Leonard Cole, Rutgers University)
Geoffrey C. Kabat, a respected epidemiologist, provides an insider's account of how a number of ostensible health hazards have been blown out of proportion. While we face a daily barrage of health scares, Kabat cuts through the confusion and provides a lucid and rigorous rationale for rejecting much of the fear culture that permeates our society.
(Shelly Ungar, University of Toronto)
This book does an exceptionally good job, first by putting epidemiology within the context of public health and then by explaining key terms, concepts, and methods. It provides a penetrating treatment of a difficult and complex subject in a readily understandable way.
(Steven D. Stellman, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University)
"Kabat, who wrote Hyping Health Risks--a fascinating and detailed examination of how we fell for certain, illusory environmental hazards--is possibly the only epidemiologist in the world to have also published a book on Dostoyevsky (he got a Ph.D in Russian and comparative literature from Columbia before switching tracks). And the background in literary analysis and theory adds a crucial ability to explain why we, as a society, are prone to turning hypothetical risks into "social facts." The upshot is that most public alarms about health risks dispense with the tools required to make sense of the alarm--and we end up with "disembodied findings" and ideology."
(Trevor Butterworth Forbes
"Health scares come and go, but they often have a tenuous scientific basis. Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist, systematically rips through cancer alerts that overrode scientific rigor in recent decades. In so doing, he dispels the dubious science underlying the scares and explains how public confusion can come about.
He extends his critique to debates linking radon gas exposure and secondhand cigarette smoke exposure to lung cancer. Those chapters will ruffle some feathers, but Kabat is unafraid of controversy."
(Nathan Seppa ScienceNews
rich and valuable...
(Trevor Butterworth Forbes.com