Skeptics to Honor Vox’s Julia Belluz with Critical Thinking Award
August 23, 2016
For deftly debunking unscientific and outrageous medical claims, and for taking on the gurus of pseudoscience and quackery, Julia Belluz of Vox.com will be awarded the Balles Prize in Critical Thinking by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a program of the Center for Inquiry. The award will be presented on October 28 at the CSICon conference in Las Vegas.
“The peddlers of medical misinformation have more ways than ever to spread their message and bamboozle and endanger the public, using the tools of the web and social media, and shrouding their ludicrous claims in scientific-sounding jargon,” said Barry Karr, Executive Director of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. “Julia Belluz beats them at their own game. In her outstanding work at Vox, she combines the tools of digital storytelling with a unique, passionate voice and good old-fashioned fact-based reporting (imagine that!), dispelling myths and sparking genuine critical thinking in the minds of her many readers.”
Belluz’s reporting for Vox has challenged the baseless assertions of the anti-vaccine movement, exposed the absurd and often dangerous promises of things like homeopathy, naturopathy, and fad diets, and taken on the outlandish assertions of health-prophets such as Dr. Oz, the “Food Babe,” and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Julia Belluz sets a high standard for health and science reporting, and it’s a standard that we need more journalists to meet,” said Karr, “The public needs allies when faced with a deluge of unscientific, dangerous, and costly claims about health and medicine. She’s among the strongest allies they have, and that’s why we’re proud to be giving her this award.”
The Robert P. Balles Annual Prize in Critical Thinking is bestowed by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and a program of the Center for Inquiry. Belluz will receive the prize at the CSICon convention taking place October 27-30, 2016 in Las Vegas, which will also feature speakers such as James Randi, Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, Maria Konnikova, and many more. See CSIConference.org for more information.
The Balles Prize is a $2,500 award given to the creator of the published work that best exemplifies healthy skepticism, logical analysis, or empirical science. The prize was established by Robert P. Balles, an associate member of CSI and a practicing Christian, along with the Robert P. Balles Endowed Memorial Fund, a permanent endowment fund for the benefit of CSI. Previous winners of the Balles Prize have included the writers and producers of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Paul Offit for his book Do You Believe in Magic?, Michael Specter for his book Denialism, and Natalie Angier for her book The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science.
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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and will soon be home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at http://www.centerforinquiry.net.