Mark Parascandola, Ph.D.
Mark Parascandola, Ph.D., is an epidemiologist and historian of science. He writes on the nature of scientific evidence and the use of epidemiology in public policy, and has been published in the Washington Post, Lingua Franca, and the Times Literary Supplement.
Scientists, Families, and Courts Clash Over the Elusive Causes of Autism
When a British medical journal reported that childhood vaccinations might be a cause of autism, a storm of anxiety ensued. Subsequent studies failed to confirm the autism-vaccine link, and the journal that published the original study retracted it. As of now, however, the lawsuits are going forward and childhood vaccination rates are dropping.
Glimpsing Promise in the Drug We Love to Hate
We rarely hear about nicotine outside of its association with cigarette smoking and the 400,000 or more people that smoking kills each year in the United States alone. Nicotine is a powerful substance in its own right, however, and scientists have started to ask if it may have some virtues. Parascandola examines one of the surprising possibilities: nicotine’s positive impact on patients with neurological disorders.
Cell Phones, Aluminum, Agent Orange: No? Yes? Maybe?
Epidemiology is a powerful tool for spotting hazards in the environment before the biological mechanisms are known.