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Event Date: 

Monday, April 23, 2018 - 12:00pmDean and Professor of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health

Event Location: 

1335 Health Sciences Learning Center

Contact Info: 

Rosalind Bendix-Lewis, (608) 265-0516

John Rankin/ James Skatrud Annual Memorial Lecture: Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, "The Death of Evidence: Implications for Epidemiology"


Science advances knowledge, chiseling at areas of ignorance and reducing uncertainties, which may impede evidence-based decision-making. With regard to environmental pollution, for example, great progress has been made as research has documented the damage done to human and ecosystem system health by man’s activities, motivating action and guiding interventions. However, over recent decades, the paradigm of evidence-based decision-making has been increasingly threatened as powerful stakeholders, with seemingly threatened interests, have undermined scientific evidence by creating doubt and even offering personal and collective beliefs as an equivalent basis for decision-making. The origins of the strategy of doubt creation can be traced to actions taken by the tobacco industry as the evidence mounted showing that smoking causes cancer and other diseases; the same tactics have spread, extending to environmental pollutants, foods, and beverages. More challenging is the emergence of outright dismissal of evidence and its replacement by belief, whether consistent with or counter to what is known. This presentation addresses this concerning shift and its implications for epidemiology and epidemiologists.

Health Sciences Learning Center

Supplemental Materials: 
PDF icon j_samet_cv_01.22.18.pdf