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Russ Allbery
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Julian Bucknall
John Self

Ben Goldacre

Bad Science

Our health is a very important matter to us, so we naturally tend to take notice when we hear of possible breakthroughs in medicine, or new dangers to our well being. But how much weight should be give to such reports. If you read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre then you will learn to be very wary about believing what you hear.

The media is the number one problem. Eager to come up with a story, they will be very selective in what they choose to report. Goldacre sees the link between MMR and autism as essentially a media hoax, for which there was never any substantial evidence. He also investigates more closely some of the 'experts' produced by the media, and finds that often their academic qualifications are not what they seem. Conventional medicine might seem to blind you with science, and to be influenced too much by big pharma, but this book shows that alternative medicine is also fond of 'sciencey' language (usually without any substance behind it) and is also often surprisingly profitable.

There's a worry, though, that if you try hard enough then it's possible to debunk anything. Goldacre seems to dismiss a 35% increase in cocaine use in schools much too easily. Mostly, though, the book does it's job very well, teaching you how to spot the media's misinformation in a readable and entertaining way.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0007240198
Salesrank: 2383593
Weight:1.01 lbs
Published: 2008 Fourth Estate
Marketplace:New from $61.98:Used from $0.64
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 382 pages  
ISBN: 000728487X
Salesrank: 1323
Weight:0.62 lbs
Published: 2009 Harper Perennial
Amazon price £6.29
Marketplace:New from £3.00:Used from £0.01
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Product Description
Nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize. We are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes misleading information - until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dubious science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases and missed opportunities of our time. He also shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.