93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Highly informative and most entertaining - a must for science enthusiasts,
This review is from: Bad Science (Paperback)I have been towing this book around with me for some weeks reading a chapter here and there. Sitting in cafes and other public venues, I have frightened passers-by with my screams of laughter at Goldacre's entertaining prose which can make some fairly dry topics not only accessible but downright funny.
I feel that I have a genuine reason for reviewing this book because I am a nurse working in clinical audit and know only too well how easy it is to manipulate statistics to mean exactly what you want. I have thus recommended this to more than one doctor about to embark on audit as a useful insight into the subject.
Frankly, I learned loads from this volume, which actually frightens me because I thought that I had a passing grasp of the power of stats. As a result, I now treat the information that comes up on my pivot tables and graphs with a new respect and query it much more closely.
My favourite part of the book has to be about Goldacre's handling of Gillian McKeith, the food guru (or whatever she is). His handling of her lack of bioscientific knowledge was excellent and made me smile. What I particularly liked was his correct explanations of the science behind the facts. There is something very elegant and beautiful about true science and he brought this out to perfection. He is clearly a great enthusiast and, at the end of the book, he recommends people to adopt a greater spirit of enquiry into the subject. Go for it!
Initially, I, like many, had thought that Mr. Goldacre would just debunk alternative therapies but I was in for a surprise. His comments on mainstream scientific research were illuminating and I must say that I had not realised that responsible minds could skew things this much - through both good intention and mendacity. His chapters relating to the media were also illuminating and, yes, journalists do get things wrong!
Anyway, my recommendation is that you buy this book - not only for yourself but also for your children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends etc.
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Initial post: 23 May 2013 19:22:50 BDT
I am not sure this book would provide much help to a patient on how to ferret out better science. I get how bad it all is but does he offer practical solutions for non scientific types to find better answers on their own? Can you give examples? Thanks.
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