I broke a bone in my foot, and it sent me down a rabbit hole. The prospect of several weeks on crutches inspired me to do some research on the history of crutches (they are very old), and the result was an article “In Praise of the Crutch-Makers.” I am grateful to Barry Karr, my editor at Skeptical Inquirer, for accepting an essay that is somewhat different from my usual “Behavior & Belief” column. Although the article is written in the past tense, I will be on sticks for a few weeks longer.
Meanwhile, the latest issue of the print version of Skeptical Inquirer is on newsstands now. My column for this issue is about the National Down Syndrome Society promoting the discredited therapy, Facilitated Communication (FC). A version of the article appeared online here.
This issue also includes an interesting article by Scott O. Lilienfeld, “Skepticism and the Persuasive Power of Conversion Stories.” Lilienfeld reviews research showing why conversion stories are so persuasive, and one of the examples he cites is Janyce Boynton, the former Facilitated Communication user who is now a leading advocate for eliminating FC. I wrote about Boynton’s story in my column last November.
That’s it for now. Enjoy the lovely spring weather!