Bad Science

Bad Science

Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks

Book - 2010
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The informative and witty expose of the "bad science" we are all subjected to, called "one of the essential reads of the year" by New Scientist .

We are obsessed with our health. And yet -- from the media's "world-expert microbiologist" with a mail-order Ph.D. in his garden shed laboratory, and via multiple health scares and miracle cures -- we are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory, and sometimes even misleading information. Until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the questionable science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases, and missed opportunities of our time, but he also goes further: out of the bullshit, he shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2010
ISBN: 9780771035784
0771035780
Branch Call Number: 500 GOL NVD
Characteristics: xii, 288 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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redban Sep 04, 2014

Now here's an absolute gem, this will change how you see the world around you in the Age of Information (Misinformation?). Arm yourself with reason and some practice. Truly, one of the essential reads.

m
MamaBlair
Dec 15, 2013

It's not a book that will leave a smile on your face. In fact, you'll be throwing out your vitamins and cringing each time you read pop science articles in magazines such as "chocolate lovers live longer!" Or other ridiculous claims where the stats have been skewed.

I enjoyed the content far more than the authors style of writing. Too often he goes off on rants about particular people who he has a personal grudge with, with the perspective that those particular people will read his book.

Other than that, very interesting read!

e
empbee
Sep 20, 2013

Well written, a must for everyone.

g
gregorih
Apr 16, 2013

An excellent book and incredibly funny. It would make an excellent supplement to any critical thinking course.

Donna_R Jan 22, 2013

Once of those smart thinking books that makes you shout "Listen to this!" at all and sundry. A non-scary look at the real science behind media beat-ups. Ben Goldacre is coming to the 2013 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival - will be a very popular guest.

j
jmikesmith
Jan 17, 2013

I think this is a very important topic, but it could have been presented better. Goldacre makes excellent points about how the media, "big pharma", and various fringe practitioners mis-represent scientific evidence and flat-out make stuff up to sell newspapers, drugs, and "natural" remedies. The focus is all on medicine and health science (I was expecting a more general treatment of science; he justifies his focus by saying medicine and health are the only types of science most people are interested in).

The author's tone will turn off a lot of people who really need to read this. He comes across as condescending and patronizing (although that may just be his upper-class British manner coming through). There is more than one instance of "if you've read this far, you must be capable of understanding what I'm saying", which I found somewhat off-putting. He seems to be talking down to his audience, especially in the early chapters. Some of the later material, that discusses our innate cognitive biases that hinder us in understanding scientific evidence, was more interesting. In addition, his style and vocabulary are more complex than they need to be. In essence, I think Goldacre is preaching to the converted here.

n
nnnic
Nov 08, 2012

Fantastic and well-written account of the misrepresentations of science into the mainstream.

l
LARRY_M
Jan 28, 2012

Definitely worth a thorough read. Ben Goldachre writes simply, disarmingly so given the complexity of distinguishing actual science from pseudo-scientific bafflegab.

s
seaaan
Dec 17, 2011

Brilliant, funny, and edifying. I gained so much from reading this book. When I'm president of the one world government, this will be required reading for everyone.

l
LT
Nov 06, 2011

Since the book was written in 2008, it's peculiar and even a bit off-putting that the blurb is written in the future tense!

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MamaBlair
Dec 15, 2013

MamaBlair thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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