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Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
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Bad Science (edition 2009)

by Ben Goldacre (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2441064,207 (4.15)125
Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren't medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what's, well, just more bullshit?Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he's not here just to tell you what's wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You're about to feel a whole lot better.… (more)
Member:numbersixbooks
Title:Bad Science
Authors:Ben Goldacre (Author)
Info:Fourth Estate (GB) (2009), Edition: Reprint, 382 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work Information

Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre

  1. 80
    Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine by Simon Singh (edwbaker)
  2. 50
    The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan (gward101)
  3. 20
    Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns and other Delusions by James Randi (MyriadBooks)
  4. 20
    Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine (wandering_star)
  5. 21
    Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (Rynooo)
  6. 10
    Three Steps to the Universe: From the Sun to Black Holes to the Mystery of Dark Matter by David Garfinkle (nsblumenfeld)
    nsblumenfeld: Although they write about astronomy rather than medicine, the authors share Goldacre's interest in process and methodology as well as results; they make how we know what we know in the field a primary concern and are interested in giving their readers the tools to avoid pseudoscience and bogus "sciencey" claims.… (more)
  7. 00
    Counterknowledge: How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History by Damian Thompson (bertilak)
  8. 00
    Yes, We Have No Neutrons: An Eye-Opening Tour through the Twists and Turns of Bad Science by A. K. Dewdney (bertilak)
  9. 00
    Denying Science: Conspiracy Theories, Media Distortions, and the War Against Reality by John Grant (nsblumenfeld)
    nsblumenfeld: Why does bad science get so much exposure?
  10. 00
    De cholesteroloorlog waarom geneesmiddelen zo duur zijn by Dirk Van Duppen (peter_vandenbrande)
  11. 00
    Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies (peter_vandenbrande)
  12. 00
    The Duck That Won the Lottery: 100 New Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini (vguy)
    vguy: Goes into greater depth on a selected number of issues (eg Homeopathy, MMR vaccine). Helps one understand scientific method, specifically blind controlled randomised trials. For all that, an amusing and popular approach.
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» See also 125 mentions

English (105)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Like a lot of books of this genre, it could have been a fraction of the size and still got its points across.

For example homeopathy is pure quackery, people involved are, unsurprisingly, not interested in fair trials, since their livelihood depends on it. That's about it, but he manages to pad this out to nearly 40 pages.

For most chapters you will get his point after the first few pages, but you'll have to endure page after page after page of examples.

He writes with a kind of incredulity that people don't tell the truth, that pharma companies fudge trials, that the media perpetuates lies. They all make a living by doing this, so I'm not remotely incredulous.

I read this in 2022, so debunking Gillian McKeith was something I'm not really interested in.

I'm amongst the pages of fluff, he talks about some interesting topics. I think the placebo effect is fascinating and so does he.

It's not a bad book, overly wordy and a bit dated. ( )
  Embassy9625 | Jun 24, 2024 |
Like a lot of books of this genre, it could have been a fraction of the size and still got its points across.

For example homeopathy is pure quackery, people involved are, unsurprisingly, not interested in fair trials, since their livelihood depends on it. That's about it, but he manages to pad this out to nearly 40 pages.

For most chapters you will get his point after the first few pages, but you'll have to endure page after page after page of examples.

He writes with a kind of incredulity that people don't tell the truth, that pharma companies fudge trials, that the media perpetuates lies. They all make a living by doing this, so I'm not remotely incredulous.

I read this in 2022, so debunking Gillian McKeith was something I'm not really interested in.

I'm amongst the pages of fluff, he talks about some interesting topics. I think the placebo effect is fascinating and so does he.

It's not a bad book, overly wordy and a bit dated. ( )
  Embassy9625 | Jun 24, 2024 |
Like a lot of books of this genre, it could have been a fraction of the size and still got its points across.

For example homeopathy is pure quackery, people involved are, unsurprisingly, not interested in fair trials, since their livelihood depends on it. That's about it, but he manages to pad this out to nearly 40 pages.

For most chapters you will get his point after the first few pages, but you'll have to endure page after page after page of examples.

He writes with a kind of incredulity that people don't tell the truth, that pharma companies fudge trials, that the media perpetuates lies. They all make a living by doing this, so I'm not remotely incredulous.

I read this in 2022, so debunking Gillian McKeith was something I'm not really interested in.

I'm amongst the pages of fluff, he talks about some interesting topics. I think the placebo effect is fascinating and so does he.

It's not a bad book, overly wordy and a bit dated. ( )
  Embassy9625 | Jun 24, 2024 |
The tone is a bit over the top but with good reason, it is a shame that a book like this should even exist because of failure of the press to report on science.

The criticism i would direct to the author is that he almost never goes into numerical details so he does not admit some fundamental problems with scientific truth. Some times results are not black and white, and benefits or damage are acrually complex.

The praise I could not give enough is that he really takes head on so many problems with information, policy, media in health and wellness. For example debunking of anti-oxidants…
( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
Even if you are a staunch adherent of homeopathy or one of other practices the author makes exposé of, the book will still prove useful to you, because it teaches (or reiterates) those priceless methods of logic which are some essential in everyday life.
  Den85 | Jan 3, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
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Let me tell you how bad things have become.
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The aim of this book is that you should be future-proofed against new variants of bullshit.
My aim here is by no means to suggest that antioxidants are entirely irrelevant to health. If I had a T-shirt slogan for this whole book, it would be: 'I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that'.
Under his [Harry Frankfurt, Princeton University] model, "bullshit" is a form of falsehood distinct from lying: the liar knows and cares about the truth but deliberately sets out to mislead; the truth speaker knows the truth and is trying to give it to us; the bullshitter, meanwhile, does not care about the truth and is simploy trying to impress us.
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Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren't medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what's, well, just more bullshit?Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he's not here just to tell you what's wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You're about to feel a whole lot better.

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La salute, il timore di perderla, la ricerca di ogni mezzo per conservarla sono ossessioni ricorrenti, coltivate dai canali pubblicitari attraverso un bombardamento quotidiano di consigli, ricette, soluzioni spesso imprecise, talvolta fuorvianti o dannose. Contro la disinformazione interessata, la fiducia ingenua, i rischi dell'ignoranza, questo libro propone un rimedio: la consapevolezza. Ben Goldacre non si limita a svelare menzogne e verità manipolate, ma racconta come sia facile cadere preda di questi inganni e, soprattutto, come sia possibile evitarlo. Di fronte ai pericoli della cattiva scienza, questo libro è il manifesto, divertente, spietato e appassionato, di una scienza buona.
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