Steven P. Novella, MD

Founding Fellow
Chairman of the Board

New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Steven P. Novella, MD, has long been a leading voice for rationality and evidence-based medicine. Dr Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine and Founder and Executive Editor of Science-Based Medicine, one of the most well-known blogs on the Internet.

Dr Novella is the President and Co-Founder of the New England Skeptical Society, the host and producer of the popular science podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe (SGU), and the author of the NeuroLogicaBlog, a daily blog that covers news and issues in neuroscience, but also general science, scientific skepticism, philosophy of science, critical thinking, and the intersection of science with the media and society. He also contributes to The Rogues Gallery, the official blog of SGU. He is a medical advisor to Quackwatch and an associate editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.

Dr Novella received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, his fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, and was board certified in 1998.

“Anti-Anti-Vax” panel presentation at James Randi Educational Foundation, The Amazing Meeting 7, 2009 Jul 9-12:

Science-Based Medicine Blog:

2010 Essays:

  • “Personalized medicine bait and switch,” Jun 30.
  • “Cracking down on stem cell tourism,” Jun 16.
  • “Complete cancer quackery resource,” Jun 23.
  • “WHO, H1N1, and conflicts of interest,” Jun 9.
  • “Is organic food more healthful?” 2010 May 26.
  • “New data on cell phones and cancer,” May 19.
  • “A pair of acupuncture studies,” May 19.
  • “Low dose Naltrexone – bogus or cutting edge science?” May 5.
  • “The other anti-vaccinationists,” Apr 28.
  • “Demonizing ‘Big Pharma’,” Apr 22.
  • “Brain-training products useless in study,” Apr 22.
  • “Social factors in autism diagnosis,” Apr 14.
  • “Our visit with NCCAM,” Apr 7.
  • “Being negative is not so bad,” Mar 31.
  • “Placebo effects revisited,” Mar 24.
  • “Plausibility in science-based medicine,” Mar 10.
  • “Acupuncture for depression,” Mar 3.
  • “Homeopathy gets a reality check in the UK,” Feb 24.
  • “Autism onset and the vaccine schedule – revisited,” Feb 19.
  • “The early course of autism,” Feb 17.
  • “Checklists and culture in medicine,” Feb 10.
  • “The Lancet retracts Andrew Wakefield’s article,” Feb 3.
  • “Evolution in medicine,” Jan 27.
  • “e-Cigarette safety,” Jan 20.
  • “The war on salt,” Jan 13.
  • “Acupuncture for hot flashes,” Jan 6.
2009 Essays:

  • “Man in coma 23 years – is he really conscious?” Nov 25.
  • “Evidence in medicine: correlation and causation,” Nov 18.
  • “More nonsense from Dr. Jay Gordon,” Oct 15.
  • “H1N1 update,” Oct 14.
  • “Autism prevalence,” Oct 7.
  • “The need for transparency,” Sep 30.
  • “SBM problems,” Sep 21.
  • “Kevin Trudeau’s legal trouble,” Sep 16.
  • “Integrative obfuscation,” Sep 9.
  • “IVF and CAM Use,” Sep 2
  • “Off-label use of prescription drugs,” Aug 26.
  • “New SBM resource – and a word on vaccines,” Aug 19.
  • “The rise of placebo medicine,” Aug 12.
  • “Quack clinics,” Aug 5.
  • “Beware the spinal trap,” Jul 29.
  • “Minimally conscious vs persistent vegetative state,” Jul 15.
  • “Report from the SBM conference,” Jul 15.
  • “The British Chiropractic Association responds to Simon Singh,” Jul 8.
  • “Chiropractic – a brief overview,” Jun 24 & Jul 1.
  • “FDA Zicam warning,” Jun 17.
  • “Connecticut legislature intrudes on debate over chronic Lyme disease,” Jun 10.
  • “Should vaccines be compulsory?” Jun 3.
  • “Does the flu vaccine increase hospitalizations?” May 27.
  • “Acupuncture does not work for back pain,” May 13 & May 20.
  • “Swine flu update and overview,” May 6.
  • “The Huffington Post’s war on science,” Apr 29.
  • “Pseudoscience in medical news at the Huffington Post,” Apr 22.
  • “More on fourteen studies,” Apr 15.
  • “Dr. Michael Dixon – a pyromaniac in a field of (Integrative) straw men,” Apr 8.
  • “Pockets of vaccine noncompliance in California,” Apr 1.
  • “IRBs, conflicts of interest, and witch hunts,” Mar 25
  • “Acupuncture – disconnected from reality,” Mar 18.
  • “The GAO report on supplement regulation,” Mar 11.
  • “Science-Based Medicine conference,” Mar 6.
  • “Double standards – Newsweek and Tom Harkin,” Mar 4.
  • “Train your brain,” Feb 25.
  • “Obama and stem cells,” Feb 18.
  • “Another negative study of vitamins,” Feb 11.
  • “Some good news on the academic front,” Feb 4.
  • “More data on vaccine safety amid new outbreaks,” Jan 28.
  • “President Obama – defund the NCCAM,” Jan 21.
  • “The alleged autism epidemic,” Jan 14.
  • “Paul Offit takes on Robert Sears,” Jan 7.
  • “2008 Medical Weblog Awards,” Jan 6.
2008 Essays:

  • “A year of Science-Based Medicine,” Dec 31.
  • “Defending science-based medicine,” Dec 24.
  • “The syndrome syndrome,” Dec 17.
  • “Direct-to-consumer science,” Dec 10.
  • “Dr. Jay Gordon – ‘Anti-Vaccination’”, Dec 3.
  • “Bee venom therapy – grassroots medicine,” Nov 26.
  • “Health care freedom,” Nov 19.
  • “The debate about off-label prescriptions,” Nov 12.
  • “Rainman – link between precipitation and autism,” Nov 5.
  • “Fake treatments for fake illnesses,” Oct 29.
  • “Interpreting the medical literature,” Oct 22.
  • “Calories, thermodynamics, and weight,” Oct 15.
  • “Nobel for HIV discoverers,” Oct 8.
  • “Cognitive dissonance at the New York Times,” Oct 1.
  • “Acupuncture for hot flashes – or, why so many worthless acupuncture studies?” Sep 24.
  • “Bisphenol A in plastics – should we worry?” Sep 17.
  • “National Health Interview Survey 2007 – CAM use by adults,” Sep 10.
  • “The importance and limitations of peer-review,” Sep 3.
  • “Attitudes and public health,” Aug 27.
  • “Recognizing dubious health devices,” Aug 20.
  • “Pro-CAM Wikipedia – skeptics need not apply,” Aug 13.
  • “Calories in – calories out,” Aug 6.
  • “HIV treatment extends life expectancy,” Jul 30.
  • “Autism and vaccines: responding to Poling and Kirby,” Jul 23.
  • “A guide for confronting patients,” Jul 16.
  • “Should we study chelation for autism?” Jul 9.
  • “The bait and switch of unscientific medicine,” Jul 2.
  • “Politics and science at the HHS,” Jun 25.
  • “The FDA cracks down on fake cancer cures,” Jun 18.
  • “The media and ‘CAM’”, Jun 11.
  • “Stem cell therapy and the need for transparency,” Jun 4.
  • “The media and vaccines,” May 28.
  • “Changing the rules of evidence,” May 21.
  • “Canada Bill C-51 – regulating natural health products,” May 14.
  • “Science and health news reporting – the case of the regenerating finger,” May 7.
  • “Conflict of interest in medical research,” Apr 23.
  • “The increase in autism diagnoses: two hypotheses,” Apr 16.
  • “Studying placebo effects,” Apr 9.
  • “Cell phones and brain tumors,” Apr 2.
  • “Airborne settles case on false advertising,” Mar 26.
  • “Be wary of stem cell pseudoscience,” Mar 19.
  • “Do antidepressants work? The effect of publication bias,” Mar 12.
  • “Science-based nutrition,” Mar 5.
  • “Antiscience-based medicine in South Africa,” Feb 27.
  • “Proposed changes to FDA regulation present a dilemma,” Feb 20.
  • “Super fruit juices – the new snake oil,” Feb 13.
  • “Antioxidant hype and reality,” Feb 6.
  • “The role of anecdotes in science-based medicine,” Jan 30.
  • “The ethics of deception in medicine,” Jan 23.
  • “The placebo effect,” Jan 16.
  • “Can magnets heal?” Jan 9.
  • “The plant vs pharmaceutical false dichotomy,” Jan 2.

James Randi interview with Steve Novella, 2009 Mar 3:

Selected Publications:

  • “A debate: homeopathy – quackery or a key to the future of medicine?” (with PW Gold, R Roy, DM Marcus, IR Bell, N Davidovitch & A Saine), Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2008, 14(1): 9–15. [DOI] [excerpt]; reprinted in Homeopathy, 2008; 97(1):28–33. [DOI] This is an edited transcript of a debate held at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, USA on 2007 Oct 25. Homeopathy is a widely used but controversial form of complementary and alternative medicine. Six distinguished international speakers, including advocates and skeptics concerning homeopathy, debated the plausibility, theoretical principles, clinical and basic research evidence, ethical and other issues surrounding homeopathy.

Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us, The Great Courses: The Teaching Company, 2010. Twelve hours of lectures on clarifying issues facing the public on topics such as detoxing, herbal preparations, hypnosis, vaccines, placebos, vitamins, homeopathy, and much more.

Selected Presentations:

  • “Infiltration of pseudoscience into academic medicine,” panel discussion, Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, 2010 Apr 17.
SGU logo
Special report: H1N1 pandemic update” (with DH Gorski, MA Crislip & JA Albietz), podcast, 2009 Nov 15.
Interview of Simon Singh, podcast, 2009 Jun 3.

  • “An introduction to skeptical activism,” New York Public Library, 2007 Dec 8.

In the News:

Story of book-writing coma patient debunked,” National Public Radio (NPR), 2010 Feb 17.
Autism clusters linked to parents’ education,” All Things Considered, NPR, 2010 Jan 6.
Doubting Darwin: debate over the mind’s evolution,” All Things Considered, NPR, 2009 Feb 20.
“Oxygen therapy breathes new life into autism treatment,” Orange County Register, 2008 Sep 2.
‘Skeptical’ neurologist works to separate science from sham,” by Jacqueline Weaver, Yale Bulletin, 2005 Oct 7.
HIV denialists spread misinformation online: consequences could be deadly,” Science Daily, 2007 Aug 22.

The Online Steve Novella:

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