NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine -

Podcast: Gerd Gigerenzer – systematic misinformation of the public about health care

gerd_gigerenzer_slider-770x425“Health care should not systematically mislead the public about benefits and about harms.”

With strong, authoritative statements like that, Gerd Gigerenzer grabbed my attention the first time I heard him speak. Yes, his soft-spoken eloquence and Bavarian baritone were engaging. But the hook was his ability to break down seemingly-complex issues about risk and statistics into easy-to-understand nuggets. Nuggets that your brain can chew on easier than the gristle that we are usually fed with stats about risk.

But he also talks about the ethics of what he considers to be systematic misinformation of the public about health care benefits and harms.

Gigerenzer is a psychologist who heads the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where I met him recently and recorded this podcast interview:

Other links, readings, resources


  • And one bit of trivia. Gigerenzer once appeared in a Volkswagen TV commercial. He’s the driver who plays the banjo. He is (he insists “was”) a jazz and Dixieland musician. I believe once you have it, you don’t lose it.

Thanks to The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation for providing us with a grant to produce these podcasts for one year – 25 episodes in all. This will be the final podcast covered by that grant. We will continue to produce the podcasts whenever possible in the future.

Credit: podcast editor Mitch Skinner

You can now find our podcasts in four ways:

  1. All are archived on this page on our website.
  2. They are hosted on SoundCloud.
  3. They are available on iTunes.
  4. They are also on Stitcher.


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