October 1st 1996
The premise of Steen's book is that nearly everyone is confused about cancer prevention. The public, for whom the book is written, is the most confused, but cannot be faulted. According to Steen, the responsibility for their confusion lies with scientists and the press. Scientists make mistakes by reporting preliminary data from inadequate and mostly "workmanlike, undistinguished" (page 3) studies. The press, in turn, repeats these mistakes, adds some of its own, and so oversimplifies a complex topic that the public, in the end, receives "unconnected facts, partial truths, and outright lies" (page 3).