“Science Moms” Documentary Targets Scientific Misinformation in Parenting

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With the proliferation of anti-science sentiment on the internet and its effect on parenting decisions, such as whether to vaccinate children, a group of scientifically-literate “moms” is speaking out with a documentary film. Its goal is to demonstrate that parents do not need to fear science when making key decisions for their children.

A group of scientifically literate “moms” is fighting the flood of misinformation on the Internet with a documentary film. “Science Moms,” a 29-minute crowdfunded documentary, enjoyed a well-received world premiere at the QED conference in Manchester, UK in mid October, followed by the U.S. premiere at CSIcon in Las Vegas, NV on October 28, 2017. The film is now available for download (http://www.sciencemomsdoc.com).

“As an educator by profession, I encountered way too much evidence-scarce, frightening misinformation about GMOs, vaccines, homeopathy, food, chemicals, the list goes on and on,” says filmmaker Natalie Newell. “When I came across these smart women communicating about fact-based parenting, I realized that this was my chance to tell a different story.”

“Science Moms” features plant geneticist Anastasia Bodnar, PhD, neuroscientist Alison Bernstein, PhD, human molecular geneticist Layla Katiraee, PhD, and science communicators Kavin Senapathy and Jenny Splitter. All are mothers of young children, and all of them say they are tired of the bad science and ideology so prevalent in the parenting world today.

“We all want what’s best for our kids,” says Bodnar. “We have the facts on our side, but we have to find a common ground to get our message across.”

“Most people don’t realize that the anti-GMO movement isn’t only scientifically unsound, but that it leads unconscionable injustice,” adds Senapathy. “But underlying the negative perceptions of GMOs are justified socio-economic anxieties. We get that.”

The hope is that this film will open a national and even international dialogue around raising children with facts, rather than fear and hype. “The internet is a vast trove of information. How do we sift through it for what’s credible?” asks Bernstein. “That’s a conversation that needed to begin yesterday.”

“My daughter has food allergies,” Splitter explains. “It’s incredibly scary, and it’s easy for marketers to prey on that fear.”

“Celebrities are beautiful, with aspirational lifestyles,” Katiraee notes. “But we shouldn’t take their parenting advice without scrutiny. Giving birth doesn’t mean our ‘mommy instinct’ is correct. That requires evidence.”

Contact Natalie Newell (sciencemomsdoc(at)gmail.com) for screening information, and any of the Science Moms for media inquiries.

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