Mythbusters

In this series academics shoot down popular myths on complex topics.

Klik hier om deze serie in het Nederlands te lezen: www.observantonline.nl/rijkderfabelen

Myth: Suspects are regularly set free on a technicality

Myth: Suspects are regularly set free on a technicality

“I remember a case in which the suspect lodged a complaint because his title – Doctor – was not present on the summons,” says Joep Simmelink, professor occupying the endowed chair of Criminal Law and Criminology at the Faculty...

Myth: hardly anyone understands the general theory of relativity

Myth: hardly anyone understands the general theory of relativity

It's 1916. Albert Einstein has just published the general theory of relativity, which describes the curvature of light influenced by mass. “Which means,” says theoretic physicist Gideon Koekoek, “that the light from a star is cu...

Myth: There is only brain damage when it is visible on a scan

Myth: There is only brain damage when it is visible on a scan

It is estimated that 85 thousand people may suffer brain damage in the Netherlands every year. Of that number, approximately 30 thousand visit A & E. “Where subsequently a routine scan is made to determine whether they have suffered a concu...

Myth: one or two glasses of wine a day is healthy

Myth: one or two glasses of wine a day is healthy

An average student puts away quite a few beers during his or her academic career. The hangover the next day is a drag, but according to many it's otherwise harmless. Worse still, “there is a large group of people who think that a glass of a...

Myth: HIV is a very serious and contagious disease

Myth: HIV is a very serious and contagious disease

Of course, you would prefer not to get HIV. Even though the disease is no longer fatal, given the right medication, the patient will have to take the medication for the rest of his or her life and deal with any side effects. “But is that worse ...

Myth: “All things are poison, only the dose determines the hazard”

Myth: “All things are poison, only the dose determines the hazard”

It all started in the sixteenth century, when the Swiss natural scientist and doctor Paracelcus wrote in one of his many works: ‘All things are poison, nothing is without poison, only the dose determines whether something is poisonous.’ T...

Myth: Investing in shares is a matter of buying cheaply and selling expensively

Myth: Investing in shares is a matter of buying cheaply and selling expensively

At parties, people often ask professor Jean-Jacques Herings for investment advice. One tip that Herings will not give them is: you have to buy cheaply and sell expensively. In theory, this is the best strategy, but in practice it is impossible to exe...

Myth: Fascism ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis in World War II

Myth: Fascism ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis in World War II

This weekend, thousands of neo-fascists demonstrated in Rome to “take back the streets from the intruders”. Right hands were raised and slogans like “Italy for Italians; stop immigration, stop illegals, throw out all intruders&rdquo...

Myth: Evidence-based healthcare treatments are automatically transferable to specific situations

Myth: Evidence-based healthcare treatments are automatically transferable to specific situations

How to decide which treatment, prevention programme or health policy to choose? For many doctors and policymakers the answer seems simple. You look at high-quality scientific studies and take the intervention that has proven to be the most effective....

Myth: a psychologist tells you what you should do to get better

Myth: a psychologist tells you what you should do to get better

It is a misconception, in particular among people who have never had anything to do with a psychologist, says Lotte Lemmens, UM researcher and therapist at Virenze Riagg. “Anyone who asks for help, has often already looked into what the treatme...

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