BBC Editorial Complaints Unit debags the Panorama WiFi scare

November 30th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, bbc, electrosensitivity | 16 Comments »

You will remember Panorama’s WiFi program very clearly. Even the children in the school where they tried to film it spotted the problems with their methodology, and they were promptly booted out by a science teacher. I for one found those two little details truly mood enhancing, and you can read the full story here – because here is where you read it first (all the various entries related to the show are listed here). Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

November 27th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, homeopathy, mail | 75 Comments »

Jesus Christ, Read the rest of this entry »

Make your own ID

November 24th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, geek, ID | 82 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday November 24 2007

Sometimes just throwing a few long words around can make people think you know what you’re talking about. Words like “biometric”. When Alistair Darling was asked if the government will ditch ID cards in the light of this week’s data cock-up, he replied: “The key thing about identity cards is, of course, that information is protected by personal biometric information. The problem at present is that, because we do not have that protection, information is much more vulnerable than it should be.” Read the rest of this entry »

This is your brain. This is your brain on politics. Any questions?

November 17th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, cash-for-"stories", neurostuff | 18 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday November 17 2007

Obviously we’re all interested in who the next US president is going to be, since it affects our risk of being blown up on the bus to work. According to the New York Times – which has covered this story at least three times – a commercial company which specialises in giving brain images to advertisers has discovered which parts of a voter’s brain are most activated by different candidates, by taking pictures of their brains while they supposedly think about them. Read the rest of this entry »

The end of homeopathy?

November 16th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, homeopathy | 472 Comments »

Time after time, properly conducted scientific studies have proved that homeopathic remedies work no better than simple placebos. So why do so many sensible people swear by them? And why do homeopaths believe they are victims of a smear campaign? Ben Goldacre follows a trail of fudged statistics, bogus surveys and widespread self-deception.

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Friday November 16 2007

Read the rest of this entry »

The Lancet – “Benefits and risks of homoeopathy”

November 16th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, homeopathy | 83 Comments »

This is a piece I wrote in today’s edition of The Lancet. You can also see this article there in a nice Lancet PDF, along with a “world report” on homeopathy, and the references in pleasantly accessible Crossref format. To be honest, it almost feels silly writing about homeopathy in the Lancet. Read the rest of this entry »

More free energy now.

November 10th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bbc, mail, perpetual motion | 74 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday November 10 2007

When it comes to creating energy you can’t make something out of nothing, says the BBC newsreader, from behind the very important desk… “Until now. Because British scientists seem to have turned this fundamental law of physics upside down.” The Mail on Sunday loved it even more. “Amazing British invention creates MORE energy than you put into it – and could soon be warming your home,” it said. Taste the excitement. “It violates almost every known law of physics.” That’ll teach those so-called scientists a lesson.

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Even… more… ludicrous teleology from evolutionary psychologists

November 9th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, evolutionary psychology, mail, telegraph, times | 40 Comments »

If academic funding was determined by newspaper coverage we would never research anything but MMR and evolutionary psychology.

Which is fine. Read the rest of this entry »

BMJ Column – Beware of mentioning psychosocial factors

November 8th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in acupuncture, medicalisation | 34 Comments »

How doctors describe the many interactions between a person, their illness, and society has little purchase in the crudely dualistic world of popular culture. Read the rest of this entry »

Minority Retort

November 3rd, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in religion | 28 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday November 3 2007

Parliamentary select committees are one of the few places where you can see politicians sitting down and doing the kind of thing you’d actually want them to do, like thinking carefully about policy. This week the science and technology committee delivered its report on scientific developments relating to the Abortion Act, and even as a man with a very low boredom threshold, I genuinely recommend reading it for pleasure: because it is a masterclass in spotting fallacious science, and that is exactly what was offered up, in spades, by the anti-abortion activists who gave evidence.

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