I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m an overly sensitive person, but sometimes I get a bit upset by Dr Gillian McKeith PhD. There she is on the television, talking about science, making an obese woman cry, in her own back garden, by showing her a tombstone with her own name on it, made out of chocolate. And here she is, in an article headed Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday September 23, 2006
So where were we? Oh yes. Durham Council is running a highly dubious “trial” of a food supplement that is methodologically crippled, and largely incapable of giving meaningful data, but in the process Durham Council staff are appearing all over the papers and television in news stories to promote a pill called Eye Q made by Equazen, suggesting it is effective at improving concentration and learning in normal children, an assertion that is not supported by published trial data, as we have discussed (although it might be if Durham simply did their trials properly). Meanwhile Equazen say they have Read the rest of this entry »
A Quantitative Analysis Of The Frequency With Which One Company Is Promoted, And By Whom, In UK National Newspapers UPDATED 30/9/06
“A Quantitative Analysis Of The Frequency With Which One Company Is Promoted, And By Whom, In UK National Newspapers”
Updated 16th September 2006.
Susan Clark is an alternative therapy columnist who recently made a cheeky attack on her critics. It was subsequently noted that she promotes one company, Victoria Health, with some regularity in her writing. There is a large pool of alternative therapy writers in the UK, who all regularly promote specific products and companies. No background data was available on how frequently this one company is promoted in newspapers, and therefore it was impossible to assess whether Clark’s promotion of them represented an anomaly. This brief pilot study was aimed at providing further background data.
Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday September 16, 2006
Regular readers will have established by now that most journalists are so scientifically inept, and so eager to run with â€œpill solves complex social problemâ€ stories, that companies like Equazen selling their Eye-Q fish oil tablets for children with blanket media coverage can come out very nicely indeed.
So hereâ€™s the background you might have missed. Firstly, it costs 80p a day for you to feed your child these Eye-Q omega-3 fish oil tablets that Read the rest of this entry »
This has got to be the most elegant geek toy I have seen since we got back from Dorkbot: it’s just a UV strobe light, shining on a steady stream of fluorescent water drips, but by tweaking the timing, you can make the drips stop, and go backwards or forwards. The most amazing thing, though, comes in the second half, where they show how you can interact with the drops, whilst also making time flow slowly, or the wrong way. Mindblowingly beautiful. I am totally making one.
Saturday September 9, 2006
Fish oil is clearly a matter of huge national importance. Channel 4 and ITV (and the Daily Mail, and the BBC) all report on a plan by education officials in County Durham to give £1 million worth of omega-3 fish oils, to 5,000 children as they approach their GCSE’s, and see how it improves performance.
Contrary to what the pill-peddlers would tell you, the evidence for omega 3 Read the rest of this entry »
The usual tedious stuff in this 1000 word pro-CAM piece in the Guardian today: “CAM is good because medicine is bad”, “CAM is not researched because it doesn’t have big money” (in fact there are plenty of incompetent CAM trials, a bad trial costs as much to perform as a good one), “some authority figures say CAM is good”, and no attempt to address any criticisms except to complain that they are persecutory.
The whining and rhetoric I can cope with; an ignorance about evidence based medicine, so profound that she can’t even get the most basic terminology correct, is fine too (she refers to “random controlled trials” which means nothing, I presume she means “randomised controlled trials”); but she seems to allude to a trial that does not exist, and that is the thing, as usual, that Read the rest of this entry »