BAS SkepTalk: Dr. Layla Katiraee - "Are you sure that sippy-cup is safe?"

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Parents face overwhelming amounts of information about the safety and welfare of their children. With social media, every seemingly small decision seems impossible as the internet provides conflicting information on every topic ranging from sippy-cup safety to vaccines and medication. Most people do not assess risk correctly. They tend to overinflate small risks while ignoring large risks. But parents are particularly prone to misinformation as their risk assessment is highly skewed because the stakes seem much higher when it comes to their children. Consequently, stories and articles highlighting the dangers or risks of foods and children’s items gain a lot of traction. When these stories tap into different values or belief systems that the audience may hold, then they become part of one’s identity and worldview, and Parenting Wars are born. Throughout this presentation, Dr. Katiraee will highlight how SciMoms have tried to break through the silos in Parenting Wars. She will highlight the importance of understanding the fears that parents have, and that facts can only go so far in swaying or convincing one’s audience.

About Dr. Layla Katiraee
Dr. Layla Katiraee is a product development scientist in the DNA sequencing space. She holds a Bachelors (HBSc) in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario, a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto, and a certificate in Applied Bioinformatics from Penn State. Layla is also one of the directors at SciMoms, an educational non-profit dedicated to helping parents navigate through the overwhelming amounts of (mis)information and marketing claims they encounter. SciMoms strives to frame all topics through the appropriate definitions of hazard and risk, and to use nuance and relevant evidence in the topics they discuss. Established in 2017, SciMoms has written about topics as varied as gun safety, breastfeeding, trampoline safety, vaccines, and GMOs.

Disclaimer: Layla’s views and opinions as expressed on SciMoms are hers alone and may not represent the views of her past or present employers.