Dr Rachie’s Big Idea

Australian Skeptics vice-president, Dr Rachael Dunlop, has expounded on her Big Idea in the ABC program of the same name.

Part of the annual Festival of Commercial Creativity, or “Circus”, Big Idea speakers in several different fields are given up to fifteen minutes to spruik a paradigm-shifting ‘big idea’: then the audience votes for the winner.

Dr Rachie’s big idea was on diagnosis by ‘Dr Google’ – the phenomenon whereby individuals get their medical diagnoses via the internet, where the quality of the information provided is variable, to say the least.

As Rachael points out, internet usage at home has grown considerably, and likewise the use of the Google search engine. So prolific is this as a source of information, that one in two use the internet to self-diagnose their illnesses, and two in three research drugs and pharmaceuticals that way. The fact that most of us never go past the first page of a search result means that a reasonable breadth of possible information – the internet version of a second opinion – is hardly ever reached.

Rachael’s presentation can be found in video or audio-only versions.