top of page

The Scientific Method and Doctor Google

Il Metodo Scientifico e Doctor Google

As a Phoniatrician I deal with communication and its pathologies. I have always been fascinated by the different languages ​​that each of us uses, often unconsciously. Colloquial, familiar, professional, legal, scientific, advertising languages, even the different social networks have different languages ​​(posts, tweets, reels ...)

Would you go to the bank to ask "Hi Guys, would you give me some change that I am short on"?

Or as a Doctor I could say to a Patient "and just stop eat those craps, rather that bothering me with your damned reflux! “???

In these two years, like everyone else, I had plenty of time to study how "Doctor Google" communicates. This modern Dulcamara has a rather simple style, to give the impression of "explaining science simply in defiance of professors".

In reality, scientific language is necessarily the simplest language. But often it requires at least basic knowledge of the underlying concept. “Mom I'm hungry” is a simple phrase. But if I read it in Korean I will need the basics of that language.

"Doctor Google" just uses “advertising language”, so well-structured after penetrating each of us for at least three generations in a rather homogeneously cross-cultural way.

There are generally three points: I'll tell you something others don't know. In this way you will be able to recognize the “right for you” product. And avoid buying / trusting others.

The Scientific Method is an entirely Italian merit and we should defend it rather than fight it: we owe it to Galileo Galilei. Put simply, we need a theory and an experiment that can prove it, that can measure it. And others may reply it and compare data. Bacon, Newton, Descartes expanded the discourse with the fight against prejudices and the need for a method.

A recent example: I am an ENT, certainly not a Galilei or a Newton. I have always dealt with problems of smell: generally for my patients they were post traumatic or from infections.

In February 2020, patients with olfaction disorders soon increased. At first, in the Milanese winter, I talked about infectious cases or initial allergic forms (birches ...) : we still did not know that in the Italian / European variant there was the disturbance of smell, not so frequent in the first Chinese strains.

About this I recommend the excellent papers of Marco Capelli who in those days, ENT in Codogno, immediately collected and published the data of his patients, giving very useful information (and checked and republished them after eight months! This is a real scientific method).

We well knew the disturbances of smell from viral infections, but never before had the same virus caused so many disturbances in so many patients at the same time.

Doctor Google immediately began to understand "market interest" and posted the first "safe remedies" - the interest was only in obtaining your data and demonstrating the number of likes or hearts: how many got cured by swallowing the famous whole orange in the oven? Or hitting the head here and there? Do we remember?

Advertising language focuses on being remembered in the short term.

The scientific one - see Galileo's pendulum in the Cathedral of Pisa - points to long-term memory.

In the same days, since it was evident that the Patients of our studies were becoming a drop in an ocean and therefore could not give valid indications on large numbers, the Scientific Method brought the major Centers that were already studying smell and taste in the world to associate themselves in the GCCR (Global Consortium for Chemosensory Researches) a group open to all, scientists, doctors, experts in various capacities, of these senses. I entered the GCCR on 21 March 2020 and since then we have obtained tens of thousands of responses, allowing us to process valid statistical data and define the differences between infection with SARS CoV 2 and other viruses, the trend in Long Covid ...

The references for the articles are attached in next post, - just some of the many produced by the GCCR in these two years - look for Hummel, Ohla, Parma, Philippott among the Authors and you will have many more-

Now a further international study is undergoing: many have taken certain foods or drinks during this period "to strengthen their defenses and improve their health".

And in the laboratory, the active ingredients of the ingredients of some foods or drinks seem effective in controlling or at least interfering with SARS CoV 2 infection.

But is it also true in humans? In the real? Does it apply to the different variants (= was it effective in the different waves?) ??

We are asking you.

It is the survey I am talking about in the following post.

The Scientific Method cannot proceed in medicine without the contribution of people, whether or not they have had COVID.

If you have had the patience to read me, read the next post as well.

Then scan the QR code of your mother tongue and take part in the survey. THANK YOU !!

Here is the difference with the "false certainties" of Doctor Google: the Scientific Method proceeds thanks to you, Doctor Google "earns on you".

But let us remember Einstein «No amount of experiments will be able to prove that I am right; a single experiment can prove that I was wrong. “


Cristancho SM, Goldszmidt M, Lingard L, Watling C. Qualitative research essentials for medical education. Singapore Med J. 2018 Dec;59(12):622-627. doi: 10.11622/smedj.2018093. Epub 2018 Jul 16. PMID: 30009321; PMCID: PMC6301871.

Capelli, M. & Gatti, P. Anosmia and COVID-19 in south Lombardy: Description of the first cases series in Europe. B-ENT 16, 86–90 (2020)

Capelli, M., & Gatti, P. (2021). Anosmia in the first coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in Europe: Functional recovery after eight months. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 135(3), 224-228. doi:10.1017/S0022215121000670

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page