Roger Coghill and the Aids test

June 28th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, competing interests, electrosensitivity, express, herbal remedies, magnets, PhDs, doctors, and qualifications, roger coghill, statistics | 72 Comments »

imageBen Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday June 28, 2008

It’s the big stories I enjoy the most. “Suicides linked to phone masts” roared the Sunday Express front-page headline this week. “The spate of deaths among young people in Britain’s suicide capital could be linked to radio waves from dozens of mobile phone transmitter masts near the victims’ homes.”
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Sorry I can’t make Glasters

June 26th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, onanism | 6 Comments »

Just a very brief note to say I’m sorry I have to work this weekend, so I can’t make my talk in the Green tent at Glastonbury with my old friend Shane Collins from the Green Party. Read the rest of this entry »

All time classic creationist pwnage

June 24th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 46 Comments »

Richard Lenski is a biologist who recently found evidence for the emergence of new traits among E.coli bacteria, in a fascinating experiment which he has described in a paper in PNAS (best lay coverage here). His results look a bit like evolution. You will note that his paper includes the original data.

Andrew Schlafly is a startlingly predictable right wing christian activist who runs Conservapedia. I highly recommend a look around there if you’ve not already had the pleasure, because even the people who run Conservapedia find it hard to tell whether the edits are being made by god-fearing americans or naughty satirists.

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Chapter 1024, in which my prejudices about journalists are rendered in quantitative form.

June 21st, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, media, media research | 19 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday June 21, 2008

The best thing about this job is you have an excuse to read the Daily Mail every day: but sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I worry that it might infect me. We are all biased by the information we expose ourselves to, through our friends, our reading, and our choices in life. I think science coverage is pretty poor, and a lot of it is plainly wrong. Am I biased by my work? Do I see only the bad, in a very literal sense? Like many before it, this is a problem which can only be cracked with an ingenious idea from 20,000BC called “counting” (quibblers are welcome, my date is from the notched “Ishango bone“).
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Rock and Roll

June 18th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 19 Comments »

God bless Paul Flynn MP, a proper old school labour parliamentarian, strikingly sensible on drugs policy, and now this Early Day Motion on the miracle cure peddlers at Dore, the excellent blog coverage, and the the atrocious media promotion. Very, very good work indeed: this is as excellent as Wednesday lunchtime gets. Read the rest of this entry »

Money money money money money

June 14th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, irrationality research | 23 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday June 14 2008
The Guardian

Like anyone with any faith in humankind, you rail against the professionalisation of commonsense: because however much the seedier targets of this column might enjoy spending their customers’ money, baubles are impermanent. We’re not interested in consumer issues. The greater crime, by far, is that quacks and miracle cure merchants disempower us; and, moreover, that we love it when they do. Read the rest of this entry »

The Charities Commission think blogs have no educational value

June 13th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, media | 19 Comments »

Rant. Podnosh has unearthed a true gem: Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap lolz

June 13th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 14 Comments »

Presumably, when a story involves both drugs and terrorism, some kind of fuse blows in the collective Mail brane and the hysteria overpowers them. This time they’ve got the Taleban turning cannabis into heroin. Read the rest of this entry »

As far as I understand thinktanks….

June 7th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, references, statistics | 19 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday June 7 2008

It is with deep regret that I must alert you to a frightening decline in the quality of maths in reports complaining about the frightening decline in the quality of maths in Britain. “The value of mathematics”, by thinktank Reform, has received a huge amount of flattering media coverage this week in the Times, the Telegraph, and even scored a second puff in the Guardian from Professor Marcus du Sautoy himself. There is less maths around. We suffer economically. People think it’s cool to be bad at sums. These are bad things.
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