This chapter did not appear in the original edition of Bad Science because for fifteen months leading up to publication, the vitamin-pill entrepreneur Matthias Rath was suing Ben Goldacre for libel. In September 2008 Rath dropped his case, which had cost in excess of £500,000 to defend [pdf].
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Bad Science Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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'From an expert with a mail-order PhD to debunking the myths of homeopathy, Ben Goldacre talking the reader through some notable cases and shows how to you don't need a science degree to spot "bad science" yourself.' Independent (Book of the Year)
'His book aims to teach us better, in the hope that one day we write less nonsense.' Daily Telegraph (Book of the Year)
'For sheer savagery, the illusion-destroying, joyous attack on the self-regarding, know-nothing orthodoxies of the modern middle classes, "Bad Science" can not be beaten. You'll laugh your head off, then throw all those expensive health foods in the bin.'
Trevor Philips, Observer (Book of the Year)
'Unmissable! Laying about himself in a froth of entirely justified indignation, Goldacre slams the mountebanks and bullshitters who misuse science. Few escape: drug companies, self-styled nutritionists, deluded researchers and journalists all get thoroughly duffed up. It is enormously enjoyable.' The Times (Book of the Year)
'Thousands of books are enjoyable; many are enlightening; only a very few will ever rate as necessary to social health. This is one of them.' Independent
'It is an important book and if you were to pick up just one non-fiction book this year you'd do well to make it this one'
Benjamin Beasley-Murray, Daily Mail
'Goldacre's prose always reads well' TES
'Duck the health quacks with a brilliant new book that debunks medical nonsense.' Metro
'The book's light-hearted tone is a help to the reader nervous of science and statistics!This is a fundamentally good book.'
Druin Burch, TLS
'The most important book you'll read this year, and quite possibly the funniest.' Charlie Brooker
'One of the essential reads of the year so far.' New Scientist
'There aren't many out and out good eggs in British journalism but Ben Goldacre is one of them! Fight back. You could start by reading this book.'
'[A] hugely entertaining book!This isn't just an essential primer for anyone who has ever felt uneasy about news coverish of faddish scientific "breakthroughs", health scares and "studies have shown" stories -- it should be on the National Curriculum.'
'A fine lesson in how to skewer the enemies of reason and the peddlers of cant and half-truths.'
'"Bad Science" introduces the basic scientific principles to help everyone to become an effective bullshit detector.'
Sir Iain Chalmers, Founder of the Cochrane Library
'This book reawakened my love of science.' BBC Focus (Peer Review)
'Read this book.' Sunday Business Post
'It is an important book and if you were to pick up just one non-fiction book this year, you'd do well to make it this one.' Daily Mail
`It is an important book and if you were to pick up just one non-fiction book this year you'd do well to make it this one.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is also a plea for better reporting in the media, proper analysis of claims and clear explanations of the statistics rather than headline percentages that most people don't understand.
Goldacre makes the point that some of the sillier media reports serve only to diminish the standing of science and scientists in the eyes of the public. He mentions several of the daft equations which have appeared in recent years to define, for example, the most depressing day of the year (sponsored by a travel company trying to drum up bookings in the dark days of winter), the happiest day of the year (sponsored by an ice-cream manufacturer) and, somewhat improbably, an equation to determine which celebrity has the sexiest walk (sponsored by a hair removal cream outfit) - all of this originating from PR companies who, sadly, seem able to find academics & scientists who are prepared to put their names to such nonsense.
The chapter which describes the Brain Gym system is alarming too. It beggars belief that a teacher who will be introducing children to human biology should be spouting nonsense such as water should be held in the mouth so it is absorbed directly into the brain(!Read more ›
This is disappointing, as I found it difficult to carry on reading something that I agree with when there was so much nastiness veiled as incisive commentary. I can understand the source of that anger - I just think it was overdone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very educational book, there's some useful facts you can throw out there if you get into a debate with some about alternative remedies or MMR and Autism. Read morePublished 9 days ago by K.
Great book, read it because I read Bad Pharma too which was also really great. Both are depressing to read but it is better to be informed about how people use science to lie to... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
I wanted to like this book but I found it extremely difficult. I am sure Ben Goldacre is a lovely person when he is not talking about this subject but the impression he gives is a... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Tarot P. Atkinson
I like the idea of the book but the introductory chapter is considerably more interesting than the rest of it. Read morePublished 23 days ago by obp
Dr.Goldacre presents a brilliantly entertaining trip through the nonsense machine that is the media. Interesting to read at the time of D. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The sardonic humour is just perfect. Its truly difficult not to see the stupidity in many things around you after you read this.. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Orla F
Recommended to family, friends, people I meet with shared interests, and almost certainly those I meet who have no ideaPublished 3 months ago by JS