I’ve got a bike you can ride it if you like

February 7th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 72 Comments »

The Guardian,
Saturday February 7 2009
Ben Goldacre

Like a lot of people who spend their time thinking about evidence and risk, I’ve always fantasised that the insurance industry must possess a vast repository of useful data: the experience of centuries, carefully tabulated by actuaries into secret commercial databases containing a truth about human behaviour and risk which most epidemiologists and social scientists would kill for. Read the rest of this entry »

Er, “help”. Legal Chill from LBC 97.3 and “Global Radio” over Jeni Barnett’s MMR scaremongering

February 5th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in Global Radio, jeni barnett, legal chill, MMR, stifling criticism | 234 Comments »

[Update: recent developments are now available here, including an EDM in parliament and discussion in mainstream media]

[Update: links to transcripts and audio hosted elsewhere at bottom of post]

One more thing, since Stephen Fry excellently tweeted this post to his 8 billion followers (weirdly he wakes me up every morning) I’ve had to activate supercache to prevent the site from dying. This means your comments will be stored for later but can only appear intermittently, sorry about that, nice to have you, and do look around for the site for more educational moron-baiting entertainment.

LBC have instructed their lawyers to contact me.

Two days ago I posted about a 7th Jan 2009 broadcast in which their presenter Jeni Barnett exemplified some of the most irresponsible, ill-informed, and ignorant anti-vaccination campaigning that I have ever heard on the public airwaves. This is important because it can cost lives, and you can read about the media’s MMR hoax here.

To illustrate my grave concerns, I posted the relevant segment about MMR from her show, 44 minutes, which a reader kindly excerpted for me from the rest of the three hour programme. It is my view that Jeni Barnett torpedoes her reputation in that audio excerpt so effectively that little explanation is needed.

LBC’s lawyers say that the clip I posted is a clear infringement of their copyright, that I must take it down immediately, that I must inform them when I have done so, and that they “reserve their rights”.

To me this raises several problems:

Read the rest of this entry »

Nerdy fun with URLs

February 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 12 Comments »

Heh, er, so obviously I’m delighted that my grown up humour slipped unnoticed into the Guardian’s Media Monkey today, but “Utter Cock As Usual” was not the web address of the Express’s recent storyDanger from just 7 cups of coffee a day“. It’s just the web address I cheekily gave it on my blog post two weeks ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Bad Science Bingo, with Jeni Barnett… NOW with added legal chill

February 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, jeni barnett, LBC, MMR | 146 Comments »

Sorry I had no column in the paper this week, there’s some very good fun stuff coming in the next month if I can pull it together safely. Meanwhile, in case any of you are feeling complacent, I offer you this truly magnificent performance on MMR by Jeni Barnett from LBC Radio on the 7th January 2009. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as I do.

Read the rest of this entry »