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David Gorski

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as?David Gorski. That Orac has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 30 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:?The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: oracknows@gmail.com

Posts by this author

October 30, 2017
Today is the last day that ScienceBlogs will exist. Sometime today the site will go into read-only mode. A few days later, it will disappear completely from the Internet. It's a sad thing to contemplate after all these years. Whatever happened later, I will always be grateful for the start in…
October 23, 2017
Here's a brief update on the move, announced last week. Things are progressing, and most of my old material has been transferred to the new blog, which is located at respectfulinsolence.com. Of course, there are still some things to tweak and fix, which is why, given how insanely busy this week is…
October 16, 2017
Well, QEDCon is over, and this box of blinky lights is on its way back across the pond to its home in the US, having had an excellent time imbibing skepticism from its (mostly) British and European partners in skepticism. Before I left, I made a somewhat cryptic remark about "major changes" to this…
October 13, 2017
As you probably noticed, I didn't manage a post yesterday. Nor did I manage one today, other than this. That's because I was busy preparing for QEDCon, where I will be on a panel and giving a talk, and, of course, putting together my talk. As I write this, I'm horrendously jet lagged; so I probably…
October 11, 2017
QEDCon is fast approaching (indeed, I can't believe I have to leave for Manchester tomorrow night), and because my talk there will be about the phenomenon of "integrative medicine," I've been thinking a lot about it. As I put together my slides, I can't help but see my talk evolving to encompass…
October 9, 2017
I've written on quite a few occasions about a pair of scientists beloved by the antivaccine movement. I'm referring, of course, to Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic. Whether it is their publishing dubious "evidence" that HPV vaccines cause premature ovarian failure or even death or demonizing…
October 8, 2017
Over the last two Mondays, I've been writing about an unproven cancer therapy that I hadn't really heard much about before. The cancer treatment is called Rigvir; it is manufactured in Latvia and marketed primarily through a Latvian entity called the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). To recap…
October 6, 2017
Naturopathy and naturopaths are a fairly frequent topic on this blog—and for very good reason. If there is an example of a pseudomedical "discipline" that has been gaining undeserved "respectability," it's naturopathy. It's licensed in all too many states, and physicians who have fallen under the…
October 4, 2017
I sometimes like to write about things happening in my neck of the woods that are relevant to the kinds of things I normally blog about every day. This habit of mine dates back at least to the days when investigative reporter Steve Wilson of our local ABC affiliate used to lay down fear mongering…
October 3, 2017
It's October again, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As someone who takes care of breast cancer patients, I have a love-hate relationship with October. On the good side, I like seeing positive messages about what's going on in breast cancer research, advocacy, and clinical treatment. On the…
October 1, 2017
Last week, I wrote about Rigvir, a highly dubious cancer therapy developed in Latvia. Rigvir is an oncolytic virus, and its proponents claim that it targets only cancer cells for destruction, leaving normal tissue alone. Its history and how it came to be approved in Latvia in 2004 and added to the…
September 29, 2017
John Weeks has long been an activist for what is now known as "integrative medicine," earlier known as "complementary and alternative medicine"(CAM). Basically, for many years Mr. Weeks has been at the forefront of encouraging the "integration" of quackery with real medicine and promoting what I…
September 28, 2017
Two years ago, I wrote about a study that demonstrated how the antivaccine movement had learned to use Twitter to amplify their antiscience message. At the time, I noted how in 2014, when the whole "CDC whistleblower" conspiracy theory was first hatched, antivaxers were so bad at Twitter, so…
September 27, 2017
Last week, an antivaxer "challenged" me to look over a paper purporting to show that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines cause inflammation of the brain and therefore contribute to autism, a paper that she would be "citing frequently." Being someone who lives by the motto, "be careful what you wish for…
September 26, 2017
Last week, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) announced that Susan and Henry Samueli were donating $200 million for it to set up a massive new integrative medicine initiative. The plan would basically transform biomedical sciences and medical education at UCI—and not in a good way. Remember…
September 24, 2017
This blog is based in the United States, and I'm an American. Unfortunately, this produces a difficult-to-avoid baked-in bias towards medicine as it is practiced in the US and, to a lesser extent, as it is practiced in the English-speaking world, because English is my language and I can read…
September 22, 2017
Back in the day I used to do a weekly feature every Friday that I used to call Your Friday Dose of Woo. For purposes of the bit, woo consisted of particularly ridiculous or silly bits of pseudoscience, quackery, or mysticism, such as the Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface. Amazingly, I managed…
September 21, 2017
? "Why, oh, why do I have to die in the cause of such crappy science?" For antivaxers, aluminum is the new mercury. Let me explain, for the benefit of those not familiar with the antivaccine movement. For antivaxers, it is, first and foremost, always about the vaccines. Always. Whatever the…
September 19, 2017
It's not infrequently that, whenever I complain about the increasing infiltration of quackery and pseudoscience into medicine, I sometimes lament that skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine are massively outgunned, because we are. Thus, we have the continued growth of what I like to…
September 17, 2017
For nearly as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of Jeopardy! Indeed, if I'm at home at 7:30 PM on a weeknight, Jeopardy! will usually be on the television. Given that, I remember what was basically a bit of stunt programming in 2011, when Jeopardy! producers had IBM's artificial intelligence…
September 15, 2017
It's Friday, and it's been a rough week. So, after digging into an epidemiology study yesterday, I'm in the mood for something a bit less...heavy. Antivaxers sometimes call me to task when I point out what to me is a simple fact, namely that antivaxers are basically conspiracy theorists. In essence…
September 14, 2017
The reason there wasn't a post yesterday is simple. The night before, I was feeling a bit under the weather. As a result, I went to bed early, neglecting my blogly responsibilities. As I result, I missed the release of a whopper of a study that normally would have been all over like...well...choose…
September 11, 2017
Humans are visual creatures. That's why one of the most effective methods to communicate a message is through visual means, and among the most powerful visual media are movies and television shows. Cranks, quacks, and antivaxers know this, and, unfortunately, they've increasingly been taking…
September 10, 2017
A week ago, I wrote about a naturopath in Utah named Harry Adelson, who was advertising his use stem cells to treat lumbar and cervical disk problems, including degenerated and dehydrated disks. That alone was bad enough, but what elevated "Not-a-Dr." (my preferred translation of the "ND" that…
September 8, 2017
As a medical blogger with a skeptical bent and a rather aggressive proclivity towards defending science-based medicine, I generally like STAT News. Sure, it's occasionally screwed up royally (e.g., its credulous false balance reporting on a patient of cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski named Neil…
September 7, 2017
Regular readers know that, as a cancer surgeon, I become particularly worked up about stories of naturopaths taking care of cancer patients, which all too often end in disaster for the patient. I've lost count of how many naturopaths I've seen, either on their websites, in talks, or in published…
September 6, 2017
I've frequently distinguished between those who are vaccine-averse and the true, hard core antivaxers. The vaccine-averse tend to fear vaccines because of what they've heard about their supposed adverse effects, while it is the hard core antivaxers who are really originating and spreading the…
September 4, 2017
I write frequently about naturopathy here because, of all the dubious pseudoscientific medical "disciplines" out there, naturopathy (along with chiropractic) has achieved the most "respectability." Indeed, as I like to point out in my own specialty (breast cancer), the Society for Integrative…
September 1, 2017
I've frequently written about bogus stem cell clinics that use hard sell techniques to sell unproven and expensive "stem cell treatments" to desperate patients. For instance, I deconstructed the story claiming that hockey great Gordie Howe improved so markedly after a severe stroke, thanks to stem…
August 31, 2017
There are many ways to combat antivaccine pseudoscience. Personally, I've chosen my favored methods, namely blogging, giving talks, and generally combatting pseudoscience on social media wherever I find it. That's not all I do (for example, I do have a couple of papers in the peer-reviewed medical…