Science Justice

Science justice is a term I use to describe the type of activism that I pursue. As our most robust enterprise for determining what therapies and diagnostics are actually effective, the interpretation and regulation of scientific issues can often make the difference between healthcare and fraud, between valuable and useless, and between life and death.

My Story

Pseudoscience was never a topic I thought I would pursue. Younger and more naïve, I assumed that issues relating to pseudoscientific beliefs afflicted a minority of people and that the natural course of human development and scientific discovery would see these beliefs run their course. As I write this in the midst of a global pandemic (COVID-19), we can plainly see distrust and disbelief in the scientific establishment all around us; from anti-maskers to anti-vaxxers, prominent belief systems exist that do not help people make effective, science-based decisions to minimize their risk. Even worse, the very nature of contagious disease demonstrates how individual decisions can have significant impact on communities.

For me, my activism began after encountering a local chiropractor promoting services to treat and prevent cancer. I knew very little about the profession at the time, but I knew enough to recognize that these services were effectively a scam. As I pursued this issue, I came to shocking revelations about the state of regulated health professionals in Canada. Across the country, all professions are independently self-regulating in each province and virtually none of them have any scientific standards or requirements. As science is the foundation for determining which therapies and diagnostics actually work, this meant there was nothing protecting Canadians from false claims relating to services offered by regulated health professionals. Even worse, some professions harbored endemic pseudoscientific beliefs, which resulted in regulatory colleges acting to protect those beliefs and practices rather than fulfilling their mandate to protect the public.

As an activist, I hope to bring sound scientific standards to Canada’s regulators of health professionals and health products. I do not wish to restrict anyone’s access to their preferred treatment or therapy; rather, I simply want to ensure that those selling a service cannot lie or make false claims to their patients.


My Services

To be clear, I don’t take any money for my activism in this area. That said, if I offered my time freely to every cause, I would have no time left. If you wish to consult with me, or would like to request a presentation, I will kindly ask you to donate to Bad Science Watch. The organization is entirely volunteer-run, so virtually all funding goes directly to the organization’s purpose: “To create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous Canada through the establishment of the widespread use of critical thinking and sound science when making important societal decisions.


Presentations, Events, Interviews, and Appearances

2021

Change is coming.

  • I appeared on the ARME podcast to discuss the intersection of professional regulation and pseudoscience with a focus on the chiropractic profession.

2020

Remembered as the year of COVID-19. As you can imagine, there was no shortage of bad science. A primary issue I took on this year involved submitted regulatory complaints against chiropractors making false COVID-19 or “immune-boosting” claims.

McGill OSS 20th Anniversary

2019

I had a busy year of activism. It’s difficult to measure success in this space, but at least the issues had exposure. (Photo credit: Matteo Zamaria Photography)

2018

In 2018, I started to understand what it took to communicate important issues, mobilize people, and get the attention of the media.

2016/2017

These were the early years of my activism.

Get In Touch

Whether you’re looking for security advice, or
would like a perspective on science and regulatory
issues, please feel free to reach out.

Contact Details

Ryan Armstrong

Email:
ryan@ryarmst.ca

My Location

London, Ontario
Canada

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