“Blue Monday” is churnalism, beware any journalist who puffs it

January 24th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in blue monday, cash-for-"stories" | 91 Comments »

The Guardian,
Saturday January 24 2009
Ben Goldacre

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Start The Week

January 19th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in onanism, podcast | 38 Comments »

Just a quick note to say I was on Start The Week a moment ago.

It’s on Listen Again and downloadable as an mp3 podcast here:

www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/starttheweek.shtml

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Drink coffee, see dead people.

January 17th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, badscience, dodgy academic press releases, express, presenting numbers, statistics | 65 Comments »

The Guardian,
Saturday January 17 2009
Ben Goldacre

Danger from just 7 cups of coffee a day” said the Express on Wednesday. “Too much coffee can make you hallucinate and sense dead people say sleep experts. The equivalent of just seven cups of instant coffee a day is enough to trigger the weird responses.” The story appeared in almost every national newspaper. Read the rest of this entry »

How dumb can one company be?

January 10th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bbc, detox, references | 62 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday 10 January 2009

Obviously by now you can interpolate my views on detox: meaningless, symbolic, gimmicky shortlived health gestures with a built-in expiry date, when we could be reading about the NHS’s surprisingly useful website to help you stop smoking (do it now: smokefree.nhs.uk/), or lifestyle pieces on the joys of buying a bike, and making a genuine move to integrate exercise into your daily life for the long term. I’m not trying to bore you. But after a few months of concentrating on dodgy reporting in the media, I had genuinely forgotten how far out a proper fruitcake can get.

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The Daily Telegraph misrepresent a scientist’s work, then refuse to correct it when he writes to them.

January 8th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in climate change, telegraph | 109 Comments »

People in the “public engagement” community often talk about how scientists should do more to communicate with the media. I take a different line: scientists have good grounds to be extremely nervous, and some entities and journalists could quite fairly be blacklisted.

Here’s just one more example. It doesn’t stand out, I get sent plenty every week, and when I get a moment I’ll find a way to archive the tips efficiently online: but I’m posting this one here because the Telegraph have misrepresented a scientists work, refused to correct it when he writes to them, and then refused even to let him post an online comment on the article which misrepresented his own work. This strikes me as harsh.

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The barefaced cheek of these characters will never cease to amaze and delight me.

January 5th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, detox, nutritionists, onanism | 127 Comments »

Greeetings to listeners of the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. About 20 minutes ago I was on the show talking about detox nonsense. Nas Amir Ahmadi of detoxinabox.com denied the rather foolish contents of her own website, and confidently claimed that I must be thinking of the wrong company. I read a quote. She laughed and said I was mistaken.

The audio is here:

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I promised on air that I would double check and post on badscience.net. It will not surprise you to hear that she is completely wrong, and I am completely correct. Read the rest of this entry »

What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong?

January 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science | 23 Comments »

Sorry, up against it on time, I’ll post a longer version of this article with links later on x

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday 3 January 2009

Happy New Year and everything, but know this: nothing has changed, people continue to have stupid ideas, newspapers continue to laud them, and lives will be lost. Here is just one: What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong? That was the title of a book by Christine Maggiore, an HIV/Aids-denialist lauded in the American media. She is now dead. Read the rest of this entry »