Slate slides downhill

Dr. Harriet Hall tells us about rejecting an article that is critical of Dr. Andrew Weil.

Science-Based Medicine » Andrew Weil/AAFP Article Rejected by Slate

I was asked to write an article for Slate, the on-line magazine, about Andrew Weil’s selection as the keynote speaker for the 2012 AAFP annual scientific assembly. The science and health editor, Laura Helmuth, was initially enthusiastic about what I wrote, but eventually decided not to publish it.

[A copy of the article follows]

The American Academy of Family Physicians picked Andrew Weil to be the keynote speaker at its annual scientific assembly October 16-20 in Philadelphia. What were they thinking? That’s like having an astrologer give the keynote speech at an astronomy meeting.

The AAFP stands for the best in conventional medicine, for the standard of care as determined by physicians and scientists. Weil doesn’t. The AAFP stands for evidence-based medicine. Weil doesn’t.

This was my second foray into popular media after my painful experience with O, The Oprah Magazine. I thought this time it was going to be better. I was disappointed.

The editor knew of Dr. Hall’s work on the Science-based medicine blog (the BEST blog on the web, IMO) and had previously published Hall’s piece on alternative medicine in the military. But what’s the deal? Are they not prepared to handle the criticism on Weil? Do they not want to make him look bad? Too late, he does that all by himself. And so does Slate. I’ve been getting more annoyed with them lately and wanted to post this just in case you wish to express your annoyance as well.

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  1 comment for “Slate slides downhill

  1. Ben Radford
    October 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Good piece, and good work by Harriet discussing the skeptically censorious news media. In some ways it’s amazing any skepticism gets out there.

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