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Saturday, March 1 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
10E: Viral Downward Spiral: Can we anticipate science controversies?

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In November the FDA sent an unvarnished nastygram to direct-to-consumer genetic testing provider 23andMe telling the company that it had to stop marketing its product because it was, in the FDA’s eyes, misleading the public and offering unfounded medical advice. The company had been in trouble with regulatory authorities before and was a favorite punching bag of the medical establishment since it launched in 2007. Yet somehow none of its prior contretemps provoked anything like the media firestorm that followed the FDA’s cease-and-desist letter. In this session we will ask why? What if anything was different about this particular online dumpster fire? Was the reaction purely a function of the precipitating event itself? Or do social media make such feeding frenzies inevitable? How is this case instructive to us as science writers?


Saturday March 1, 2014 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 8a McKimmon Center
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