January 12, 2021
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6.00 Inches (US)
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v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
January 12, 2021
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$24.95 USD, £18.50 GBP, £20.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Viral BS

Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them

Dissecting the biggest medical myths and pseudoscience, Viral BS explores how misinformation can spread faster than microbes.

Can your zip code predict when you will die? Should you space out childhood vaccines? Does talcum powder cause cancer? Why do some doctors recommend e-cigarettes while other doctors recommend you stay away from them? Health information—and misinformation—is all around us, and it can be hard to separate the two. A long history of unethical medical experiments and medical mistakes, along with a host of celebrities spewing anti-science beliefs, has left many wary of science and the scientists who say they should be trusted. How do we stay sane while unraveling the knots of fact and fiction to find out what we should really be concerned about, and what we can laugh off?

In Viral BS, journalist, doctor, professor, and CDC-trained disease detective Seema Yasmin, driven by a need to set the record straight, dissects some of the most widely circulating medical myths and pseudoscience. Exploring how epidemics of misinformation can spread faster than microbes, Dr. Yasmin asks why bad science is sometimes more believable and contagious than the facts. Each easy-to-read chapter covers a specific myth, whether it has endured for many years or hit the headlines more recently. Dr. Yasmin explores such pressing questions as

• Do cell phones, Nutella, or bacon cause cancer?
• Are we running out of antibiotics?
• Does playing football cause brain disease?
• Is the CDC banned from studying guns?
• Do patients cared for by female doctors live longer?
• Is trauma inherited?
• Is suicide contagious?

and much more.

Taking a deep dive into the health and science questions you have always wanted answered, this authoritative and entertaining book empowers readers to reach their own conclusions. Viral BS even comes with Dr. Yasmin's handy Bulls*%t Detection Kit.

About the Author

Seema Yasmin is an Emmy Award–winning health reporter, epidemiologist, and medical doctor. The director of the Stanford Center for Health Communication and a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, she is the author of Muslim Women Are Everything: Stereotype-Shattering Stories of Courage, Inspiration, and Adventure and The Impatient Dr. Lange: One Man's Fight to End the Global HIV Epidemic.


"Listen, I'm an actress who's lived in LA over 20 years. Obviously, I love to charge my crystals by the light of a full moon while dabbing essential oils behind my ears! But when it comes to my actual health, and my family's health, I don't need the wellness woo words of an Instagram influencer, I need a real doctor to tell me what is up. And I would trust Dr. Seema Yasmin with my life, and I have. She's brilliant!"

- Busy Philipps

"I could listen to Seema Yasmin forever. Her background in medicine and communications with first-hand experience in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the CDC, make Dr. Yasmin a formidable presence in the public domain during these times of COVID-19. She sets a gold standard on how to convey tough news."

- Peter J. Hotez, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

"Examining myths and pseudoscience across multiple domains—including medicine, culture, climate, and nutrition—Viral BS will appeal to anyone who is interested in getting at the truth."

- Anna Lembke, MD, author of Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It's So Hard to Stop

"Addressing a whole range of claims related to medicine and science, Viral BS draws on good evidence to explain what is and is not true and explore why people believe misinformation. A fun, practical book written in an engaging, personal style."

- Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, University of California, Hastings College of Law

"Brilliant, hilarious, infuriating, and illuminating, Viral BS is essential reading for anyone with a brain and internet access."

- Melody Moezzi, author of The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life


"[Yasmin] analyzes the pseudoscience that becomes hard to shake and reviews related research that presents the truth. The antidote is easy to swallow, thanks to Yasmin's approach."


9781421440408 : viral-bs-yasmin
272 Pages
$24.95 USD
9781421440415 : viral-bs-yasmin
Electronic book text
272 Pages
$24.95 USD

Other Titles by Seema Yasmin

The Impatient Dr. Lange

Seema Yasmin - foreword by Princess Mabel van Oranje
Sep 2018 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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The Impatient Dr. Lange

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Aug 2018 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
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