Loading Events

Science Café: The Use and Abuse of Scientific Evidence

Wednesday10/215:30 pm - 6:30 pm

In 2019, science journalist Christie Aschwanden published Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery. On its surface, the book is a simple examination of the science behind athletic recovery. But give it a read and you’ll soon realize it’s a book that peers into how scientific research works.

Through her reporting, UW–Madison’s Fall Science Writer in Residence Aschwanden says she found that a lot of the scientific evidence being used to tout products was really just marketing spin, “rather than quests to understand truth.”

Similarly, in this year’s UW–Madison Go Big Read pick, The Poison Squad, author and MIT Knight Science Journalism Program Director Deborah Blum illuminates the quest of chemist Harvey Washington Wiley, first commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to eliminate toxic substances and improve the safety of the American food system at the turn of the 20th century. She reveals the ways in which science was used, and abused, along the way.

Join Aschwanden, Blum and UW–Madison history of the health sciences librarian Micaela Sullivan-Fowler for a special Wisconsin Science Festival Science Café at the Discovery Building. Moderated by Sharon Dunwoody, Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the panel will explore how science is manipulated, attacked and undermined by parties interested in advancing their agendas. Speakers will talk about science as a belief system — just another point of view we can choose to take or leave in support of our own opinions. And they’ll highlight science as a process, rather than, as Aschwanden says, “a magic wand that turns everything it touches to truth.”

Refreshments from Steenbock’s on Orchard will be available for purchase beginning at 5 p.m. and the event will also offer a cash bar.

Event Details:

Event Category: Arts & Culture Chemistry & Physics Eating & Drinking Sports, Health & Medicine Technology, Math & Engineering
Event Features: Free Event Handicap Accessible Indoor Event Madison
Event Type: Lectures, Panels and Discussions
Age: All ages
Admission: Free


UW-Madison (Discovery Building)
330 N. Orchard St.
Madison, WI 53715 United States


University of Wisconsin – Madison

Share Event:

Search Events

  • Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
Clear filter

Learn about the year-round community programs at the Discovery Building.

Copyright 2020