I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published November 29th 2017
Replace fear with facts
In the wake of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Michelle Gellar spreading misinformation about topics like GMOs and organic produce, a group of science-minded mothers got together to try and replace the fear with facts. In this short film, they address these bogus celebrity claims one by one, with the goal of helping other mothers spend less time freaking out about these supposed dangers and more time just enjoying parenthood.
Oh, Gwyneth. Stick to the acting and leave health advice to the professionals. Screen cap from the Science Moms Documentary.
This crowd-funded documentary premiered at the 2017 QED Conference in Manchester. It was directed by Natalie Newell, one of the hosts of the Science Enthusiast podcast and features five other science-minded mothers:
Alison Bertstein speaks about genetic engineering.
Alison Bernstein, a neuroscientist who studies Parkinson's disease, epigenetics and neurotoxicology and mother of two.
Anastasia Bodnar, policy director of Biology Fortified, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) that fosters conversation about issues in food and agriculture
Layla Katiraee, scientist working in the biotech sector, who writes a blog called Frankenfoodfacts, which deals with transgenic crops.
Kavin Senapathy, co-author of The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari's Glass House, a book about popular misconceptions around food, and founder of the organisation March Against Myths. Jenny Splitter, a food, science and health writer whose work has been published in Slate, Salon and New York Magazine, among others.
In a friendly, approachable way, these women address topics such as homoeopathy, GMOs (what the term actually means and how it is often misapplied), vaccines (and the myth that they cause autism), and organic food. They also talk about the backlash they have had for speaking out about these topics, such as accusations of being "Big Pharma shills". As Alison Bernstein, "Mommy PhD" put it on Medium:
"It's a strange mix of narcissism and paranoia that makes people believe that anyone with a different opinion must be a paid spokesperson of an elaborate conspiracy."
The Science Moms documentary is 30 minutes long and is available online for download for $4.99 from the Science Moms website. It invites discussion about how to find quality information amid the sea of opinions and conjecture at our fingertips and encourages fellow parents to seek out the facts and not to let fear control their lives. It's a great resource for all parents and anyone wanting to learn more about GMOs and organic food.