July 21, 2006
Barry Beyerstein is Professor of Psychology and a member of the Brain Behaviour Laboratory at Simon Fraser University. His research has involved many areas related to his primary scholarly interests: brain mechanisms of perception and consciousness and the effects of drugs on the brain and mind. His work in these areas and his interest in the philosophy and history of science have also led him to be skeptical of many occult and New Age claims. This has prompted him to investigate the scientific status of many questionable products in the areas of medical and psychological treatment, as well as a number of dubious self-improvement techniques.
Dr. Beyerstein serves as chair of the Society of B. C. Skeptics and he is a Fellow and a member of the Executive Council of CSICOP and serves on the editorial board of CSICOP’s journal, The Skeptical Inquirer. He was also elected to the Council for Scientific Medicine, another organization headquartered at the Center for Inquiry; it provides critiques of unscientific and fraudulent health products. He is a founding member of Canadians for Rational Health policy and a Contributing Editor of the journal, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. He has published in these areas himself and is a frequent commentator on such topics on TV and Radio and in the print media.
In this interview with DJ Grothe, Dr. Beyerstein discusses what he calls “the sins of Big Pharma,” elaborating on what he considers the negative implications of the profit motive in the pharmaceutical industry and the development of new and unnecessary drugs due to possibly biased research.
Also in this episode, Lauren Becker shares a commentary on secular humanist and skeptic “non-joiners.”