Spotlight: Internet “Truths” and Urban Legends

Published on in Parents PACK

If you want to find out about something, all you need to do is “google” it, right? Indeed, we have become so used to having information at our fingertips that we have come to use the popular search engine’s name as a verb. But, the reality is that “googling” it may or may not actually provide you with quality information. For some, search results are used simply to confirm what they already believe — right or wrong. However, the goal should be to seek accurate information, particularly if you are seeking information that could affect your family’s health and well-being.

Since many decisions we make for our families today include some component of scientific understanding, it is particularly important for scientists to effectively communicate with the public on the internet. And, indeed, some scientists have stepped up to do just that! Taking time out of the lab, or leaving the lab behind altogether, some science communicators regularly write blogs explaining a variety of science-based issues:

  • Scientific American cross-check — This blog offers critical views of science in the news.
  • Skeptical Raptor — This blogger regularly takes on pseudoscience and science-denialism. Portions of the website are dedicated to debunking science myths and logical fallacies.
  • Science-Based Medicine — This collection of doctors and writers covers medical treatments, research and healthcare with a science-first mentality.
  • — This website is a digest of many different science blogs addressing developments in various areas of science and technology as well as current events.

Remember, “your science” and “my science” doesn’t exist. Science is not opinion-based, so when you are looking for information to make decisions for your family, use information based on facts, starting with bloggers like these.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.