New thematic series: Using and abusing evidence

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Scientific evidence plays an important role in guiding medical laws and policies, but how evidence is represented, and often misrepresented, warrants careful consideration. A new cross-journal thematic series headed by Genome Medicine, Using and abusing evidence in science and health policy, explores the application of evidence in healthcare law and policy in an attempt to uncover how evidence from research is translated into the public sphere. Other journals involved in the series include BMC Medical Ethics, BMC Public Health, BMC Medical Genomics, BMC Psychiatry, and BMC Medicine.

Articles already published include an argument for reframing the obesity epidemic through the use of the term caloric overconsumption, an examination of bioethics in popular science literature, and a look at the gap between reality and public perception when discussing the potential of stem cell therapies. Other published articles look at the quality of informed consent in pediatric research and evidence for genetic discrimination in the life insurance industry. More articles will be added to the series as they are published.

Articles published in this series were invited from delegates at the meeting “Using and Abusing Evidence in Science and Health Policy” held in Banff, Alberta, on May 30th-June 1st, 2012. We hope the publication of the article collection will contribute to the understanding of the ethical and political implications associated with the application of evidence in research and politics.