What started with a friend urging me to share my insight then became a blog about science and now is a great deal more. Science for Fitness has become a project, one that is constantly growing and evolving. A long-term vision is in place, one that will hopefully have a unique positive influence on the maintenance of human health and fitness for all individuals. Although constantly being refined, portions of this long-term vision are in place and represented by specific missions. They are presented below in the order they developed over time.
Mission 1: To give the general public the tools necessary to assess the credibility, relevance, and limitations of scientific studies and media reports. The general public has a right to understand scientific studies pertaining to disease, health, and fitness – they should not simply be at the mercy of what doctors, scientists, and reporters tell them. Science is diverse and complicated, but all scientific studies are evaluated the same way. By highlighting scientific studies and breaking them down critically and as objectively as possible, Science for Fitness will show the reader how to think about the science they encounter in their lives. This is no easy task as the knowledge base for individuals varies significantly, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. In the end, the answer lies not in oversimplifying science or talking down to the public, but emphasizing the right information.
Mission 2: To give the general public access to personalized health & fitness education, consultation, and training. Even armed with the right tools for evaluating science, there are times when an individual realizes they need more and want to be more proactive in their health. They might want a greater understanding of a topic, personalized tips for living a healthy life, or want an expert to serve as a motivator/planner towards achieving their health and fitness goals. Science for Fitness helps fill this need through blog articles and YouTube videos as well as personal training, online coaching, nutrition plans and seminars.
1) Does this site provide medical advice?
No. Science for Fitness, and all content therein, does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor should it be taken as a substitute for direction by qualified healthcare professionals. The site is designed to be a forum for a critical examination of scientific literature paired with personal insight from the author. This site is for informational purposes only. Readers must ultimately judge for themselves what information they deem useful or not.
2) Is all content and are all opinions on this site that of Hayden-William Courtland, PhD, or are there other contributors?
If an entry or other content is contributed by an individual other than Dr. Courtland, a clear indication of the contributor and their credentials will be given.
3) If this site is meant to be a critical, objective review of the science, while also having content with personal views and insight, how is the reader to tell the difference?
The distinction is very important and central to the mission of this site. I think you will see the distinction quite clearly as the two approaches will often be separate posts entirely. In cases where they are combined into a single post, I make it a point to clearly state where my opinions and interpretations are coming into play.
4) Even when you are “objectively” critiquing a study, there really isn’t complete objectivity is there? How can there be since everyone has different backgrounds and knowledge levels, etc.?
This is an excellent point. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We have studies that get published. We have health concerns the public needs addressed. We have to do the best with what we have. They key is to be as open and fair-minded as possible, to present all sides, and have a dialogue among all those interested, be they professionals or members of the public. The mission of this site is to foster this dialogue.
5) Can you post the original article for the study you are discussing?
If a study is open access, I will always post a link to that article for the public to view. However, not all studies are open access and some require subscriptions. I therefore generally post to the PubMed summary page as it will give a research summary if free access is not available.
6) Since Science for Fitness has a recommended products page, does this mean some product may be there simply because it generates revenue for you?
Any product or company that is recommended on Science for Fitness is there because I personally support one or more aspects of the company or its products. In most cases I am a direct consumer/supporter based on the investigation I have done on my own. In some cases the product or company may generate money for Science for Fitness and if this is the case it will be clearly indicated in the description paragraph. Whether a source of revenue for Science for Fitness or not, no company or product will be recommended on Science for Fitness if it is not something that I personally approve of as a product. I will not endorse a product simply because I have the ability to make money from it.