“Amazing Medicine: Cures and Quackery” – MPR at the Minnesota State Fair

I love the Minnesota State Fair.  And this year I had a new reason to attend.


Minnesota Public Radio  invited me to the Fair to be interviewed as part of what they called “an hour of interaction and conversation on the weird, extravagant, and fraudulent medical claims we encounter every day and how to make smarter, evidence-based medical choices. This event is a co-presentation with the Science Museum of Minnesota.”

The discussion was before a “live” audience [far more engaging than a dead audience] but was not broadcast live.  It will be edited and may appear on Friday, August 30.  I will post a link to the audio if it’s available.

The Science Museum of Minnesota (for whom I’m serving as a consultant on a future exhibit on evaluating evidence in medical products) brought to the Fair some of its acquisitions from the old Museum of Questionable Medical Devices.

I’m the guy on the right in the photo and next to me is a mockup of the Battle Creek Vibratory Chair – circa 1900 – that was supposed to shake you free from constipation.  Laxatives from another era were also on display (photo below).

It was a natural topic for me, because I’ve written year-enders in 2011 and again in 2012 about how many media messages remind me of snake oil promotions.

I’ve also written about misguided health screening campaigns at the MN State Fair in the past.

So stop by the MPR exhibit at the Fair if you’re in town on Saturday, or tune in on Minnesota Public Radio.


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