What should it say on the back of my book?

March 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 150 Comments »

Briefly.

As you can imagine I’m a bit of a control freak about precision and dumbing down, and so inevitably I’m a bit annoyed that the back cover of the new paperback of Bad Science won’t have the same excellent text that I so lovingly prepared for the original trade paperback. Instead it will have a pill bottle with “Dr Ben Goldacre gives lasting protection against” and then five things.  Here are four. Hivemind, help me, I have minutes to choose the last one. Quick!

Dr Ben Goldacre gives lasting protection against:

* scaremongering journalists
* pill-pushing nutritionists
* flaky statistics
* evil pharmaceutical corporations

And yeah, I do think it’s a bit naff, but then I didn’t like the last cover much, and now I feel weirdly attached to it. Just give me the last bulletpoint and I can rest easy. Or recommend a better five. But we have minutes


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

150 Responses



  1. chatsubo said,

    March 3, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Daily Mail?

    hooky homeopaths?

  2. plentyofants said,

    March 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    onion breath.

  3. Henry said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    bum disease

  4. vertigo93 said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Woodoo

  5. rhebus said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    pseudoscience disguised as medicine

  6. durante said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Pseudo psychology

  7. Michael Grayer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    sweeping generalisations found on the backs of books?

  8. TriathNanEilean said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Unsubstantiated quackery

  9. TheAdmiral said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Ear candles

  10. Paul Crowley said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    anti-science jeremiads?

  11. William M. said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Edgy “Scientists have found”-stories?

  12. Michael Grayer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    misguided campaigners.

  13. brainduck said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    miracle cures

  14. jamielee said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    letting a good story getting in the way of the truth

  15. bigphathar said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Vampires*

    *not really

  16. theodwyn said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    dangerous detoxes?

  17. Michael Grayer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    anecdotal evidence.

  18. jamielee said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    whoops!

    letting a good story get in the way of the truth

  19. thb24 said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Agenda-pushing politicians ?

  20. CS Clark said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    65% of known humanities graduates.

  21. stevesp4644 said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    marketing bullshit?

  22. AntibodyBoy said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Brainless Acceptance?

  23. badger said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Jeni Barnet?

  24. misterlizard said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    delusional broadcasters

  25. patinyorks said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Company sponsored research

  26. RTomsett said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I agree chatsubo, The Daily Mail.

    The poo lady?

  27. spoonrefuter said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    bullet points

  28. Michael Grayer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    “65% of known humanities graduates.”

    I hope not. I hope to teach (good) statistics to humanities undergraduates sometime in the near future (in the vain hope that some of them will go on to be good scientific reporters with a basic understanding of quantitative evidence), and hope to recommend this book to them as a good pop-science read. I don’t think they’d be too impressed at being insulted on the back cover!

  29. hamlets ghost said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    placebo perversions

  30. MitoScientist said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    ill informed friends!!!

  31. misterlizard said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads.

  32. wijjy said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    popular delusions

  33. badger said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Chatsubo’s “hookey homeopaths” is nice and alliterative but surely tautologous?

    Can’t do any better, mind.

    Pandering Politicians

    Arguments from authority
    ?

  34. TheAdmiral said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Snappy bullet-pointed lists

  35. EleanorC said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    - pill-pushing nutritionists
    – stool-sampling TV dieticians
    – imaginary MRSA outbreaks
    – fish-oil salesmen
    – vaccine scaremongers

  36. mauve said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    a mother’s intuition?

  37. plentyofants said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    narwhals

  38. tequilaslammer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    1 for TriathNanEilean’s ‘Unsubstantiated quackery’ – was searching for the same sentiment myself.

  39. EleanorC said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    (fish oil being the new snake oil, dontchaknow…)

  40. charlieb said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    - vaccine scaremongers
    – potion-peddling quackery
    – your mum

  41. Teek said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    If you’re going to have evil pharmaceutical companies on there, then the fifth one should be Big Quacka (or, to avoid badscience jargon/terminology, alt-med “therpies.”)

    @ 35 Eleanor C: I like it…!

  42. misterlizard said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Woah Eleanor – surely you mean stool-sampling TV nutritionists.

    Dietitians are our (qualified) friends.

  43. gemma said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    toxins

  44. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    i like:

    marketing bullshit
    factless arguments

    should i make them drop Dr from Dr Ben Goldacre? i hate hate hate hate HATE the way they slightly seem to be insisting on presenting the book as a rabid hate screed from an authority figure, when the only thing i really add is that it is the absolute opposite of that.

  45. tequilaslammer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    My last comment should say ‘plus 1 for …’ but the plus symbol got mysteriously deleted.

  46. Proteom said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    “Your own wishfull thinking.”

    In line with Fenyman’s “The easyest person to fool is yourself.”

  47. Jo the Hat said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Manipulative moisturiser marketeers – because you’re worth it!

  48. stevesp4644 said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    all known self-appointed experts

  49. tequilaslammer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Fake Science

  50. plentyofants said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    yes. drop the doctor, if they’ll do it. the more i see of someone’s qualifications on the front of a book, the less likely i am to buy it

  51. mauve said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Ben: I recall reading a review that specifically praised the first edition for not including your “Dr”.

  52. EleanorC said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Fair point well made, misterlizard! *Fake* dieticians, is what I was trying to imply. Maybe in quotation marks.

    Ben I think you’re kinda going to come across as an authority figure now whether you like it or not …

  53. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    ooh i like

    “wishful thinking”

  54. Aly B said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Cures for cancer

  55. krog said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    ..and yourself

  56. mauve said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    “Lists of 5 bullet points where actually you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”

  57. Jo the Hat said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    At least Ben gets his authority from knowledge, reasoned argument etc. Unlike some – his poor dead cat included – who buy their’s from a website…

  58. tequilaslammer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Of ‘marketing bullshit’ and ‘factless arguments’ I’d drop the ‘bullshit’ so you make more sales (and less happily disgusted middle-class Daily Mail readers).

    Is ‘factless’ a word?

  59. tequilaslammer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Wishful thinking is good… But wouldn’t it be better to get people buying the book before you destroy their fantasy worlds?

    ;)

  60. Neil said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Assimilation!

  61. Henry said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    jesus juice

  62. Henry said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jesus+juice

  63. AntibodyBoy said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Stubborn Baseless Optimism

  64. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    howabout

    “misfiring intuition”

  65. drunkenoaf said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Note ascending protection requirements:

    1. Water’s molecular memory of poo
    2. Gut photosynthesis
    3. PR fluff
    4. AIDS
    5. Patrick Holford

  66. Henry said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    > narwhals

    hahahaha

    FUCKIN NARWHALS YEAAAAAAAH

  67. AntibodyBoy said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    intuition, good. misfiring, less good (too many syllables to be snappy)!

  68. AntibodyBoy said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    foggy intuition?

  69. brachyury said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    ‘common’ sense

  70. EleanorC said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    paradigm shifts

  71. villain said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Political spin

  72. whittle.andrew said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    radioactive paedophiles

  73. mauve said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    “the biases of your own intuition”?

  74. villain said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    …or even “Spin Doctors”

  75. Henry said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    bad AIDS

  76. chrisnicolson said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    * General ignorance
    *

    And yes, drop the “Dr”

  77. Gypsum Fantastic said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Modern-day medicine shows

    or

    Sensationalised science headlines

    or

    Expensive snake-oil

    And I don’t think you should be too reluctant to use the “Dr”.

  78. Gypsum Fantastic said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Me again, sorry.

    “That Awful Poo Lady” would be quite funny – since she’s already got her own chapter and all.

  79. Michael Grayer said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    @AntibodyBoy, #66

    “intuition, good. misfiring, less good (too many syllables to be snappy)!”

    er…

    n_syllables(intuition) = 4
    n_syllables(misfiring) = 3

    ;)

  80. honourablegeorge said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    RADIOACTIVE PAEDOPHILES

  81. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    ok its gone off now, with, er, just four. i tried to get “teh frickin narhwals” in there but no joy.

    i’m pretty annoyed about being called dr on the back cover but i dont know if thats just me being the most sanctimonious person in the entire known universe. it kind of fits the pill bottle theme, but still. hmm and grr.

  82. badger said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    seductive ‘remedies’ ?

  83. andrewwyld said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    * impenetrable jargon

    * meaningless sloganeering

    * technical gobbledegook

    or some variant … abuse of jargon to make some nonsense look authoritative and be harder to unmask as fake by laypeople is the general theme here.

  84. andrewwyld said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Sod, missed it. But I can see your point about the Dr thing. However, theirs is probably that people are actualy seduced by that kind of authority thing (they are trying to sell the book after all).

    For that matter, people who are seduced by a Dr’s air of authority will probably be the ones who that authority debunked most. Anyone who would go “who does he think he is, Dr Ben whatsum?” will probably already be immune, though they might also be immune to reason … it’s a calculated risk.

  85. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    omfc i totally forgot the radioactive paedophiles.

  86. ovomunch said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Irrationality,
    Charlatans,
    journalists

  87. Rebecca Watson said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    GOD DAMN IT I came all the way here to say “Radioactive pedophiles” and I’m too late AND beaten to the punch. God damn your stupid deadlines.

  88. tom-p said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    The “Dr” works ‘cos it’s a pill bottle.
    Don’t worry so much about it.

  89. ty said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    *severe deficiency of carbon

  90. biopunk said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Dr Ben Goldacre gives lasting protection against:

    blah
    blah
    blah

    And can help YOU differentiate between Marketing Directors and Medical Doctors, or any other persons with the letters M and D after their name.

  91. fontwell said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Argument from authority alone is a logical fallacy. However, if I have an abdominal pain I would choose going to my GP with their medical degrees, rather than finding out if various unqualified people actually possessed sufficient knowledge to cure me. In a similar way, Ben being a ‘real’ doctor takes away a certain amount of doubt that he just a journo who has decided to take a stance. While this isn’t defensible on logical grounds, we are not wholly logical, even in our pursuit of logic. I say keep the ‘Dr’.

  92. emen said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    oh, too late
    I was going to suggest dropping the Dr
    never mind

  93. kerledan said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    ‘Endarkenment’ ?

    or without the capital letter…’endarkenment’

  94. Neil said,

    March 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Do narwhals cause cancer yet?

  95. biggerpills said,

    March 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Vaccine damage
    Female sexual dysfunction
    Boswellox

    @Neil, it’s pink dolphins we have to watch out for now:
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1158494/Caught-camera-Is-worlds-PINK-dolphin.html

  96. fluffy_mike said,

    March 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Would the two things that affect sales most be (1) the cover (2) reviews (print & word of mouth)?

    And can we assume from the fact that the book is being reprinted already that sales have been good?

    If the book is selling well, wouldn’t it be sensible not to change the cover unless it can be shown that it’s having a negative effect on sales?

    Or is it a bit more complicated than that?

  97. Sili said,

    March 3, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    WARNING: Do not dilute.

  98. 10channel said,

    March 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Fake medicine

  99. 10channel said,

    March 3, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Dammit, I missed it.

  100. biggerpills said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    @Sili, good one, wish I could think of a decent homeopathy joke to follow it

  101. Henry said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    PINK DOLPHINS CAUSE GAYNESS

    100% INTERNET TRUFAX

  102. decium said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    un-critical thinking

  103. TroisVitesse said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Hysterical hack hyperbole
    Wholesale flim-flam peddlers

  104. mauve said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    @biggerpills
    Has anyone undertaken a study to assess whether pink dolphins are carcinogenous or is this just media scaremongering?

  105. EleanorC said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Fluffy Mike – probably the thing that has the biggest effect on sales is positioning – how prominently the bookselling chains place the book physically in their stores and virtually in their marketing and advertising and on their websites, whether it goes into 3-for-2 promotions, book club offers, etc. Though of course the cover and the reviews affect the decision on how to position it. The author’s media profile is a massive factor in that decision too.

    Issuing the book in various editions maximises its reach. The £12.99 edition appealed to one section of the market; this one will be a smaller format in a larger print run – therefore cheaper – and will be picked up by a slightly different (and larger) set of shoppers.

    Mauve – what I want to know is how pink dolphins affect house prices…

  106. biggerpills said,

    March 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    @mauve I don’t know but it’s a pretty shifty-looking dolphin, looks like it’s up to no good. Perhaps Richard Littlejohn knows.

    I love the “do not harass the dolphin” request.

  107. dkb said,

    March 3, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Too late now, but I thought it needed a dustbin category at the end, such as:

    … and other insults to your intelligence.

  108. Artsgrad said,

    March 3, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Bugger – I’m too late for this, but:

    All known forms of quackery

    Or

    99% of quacks

  109. numero said,

    March 3, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    measles, mumps and rubella

  110. gazza said,

    March 3, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    The book only protexts against 5 things? I think you undersell yourself!

    Why not a free flowing ‘rant’ of items it protects against across 5 lines? With a selection of all the clever things posted above?

  111. biggerpills said,

    March 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    papercuts

  112. Jammydodger said,

    March 3, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Charlatans…
    or

    …99% of Sophists and 87% of other Charlatans

  113. Jammydodger said,

    March 4, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Actually, what about:

    Dr. Ben Goldacre has been linked with anecdotal prophylaxis against some of the following widespread aetiologies:

    scaremongering journalists
    pill pushing nutritionists
    flaky statistics
    evil pharmaceutical corporations
    Sophists and other associated Charlatans

    Enclosed within are a series of case study reports detailing several instances of such effectiveness for objective review by interested and affected parties.

    Hmmm… Or then again..

  114. Tom P said,

    March 4, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Lupus.

  115. omnis said,

    March 4, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Hi Ben. If it’s not too late could you change ‘evil pharmaceutical companies’ to ‘profiteering …’ or somesuch. Of course, if pharmas do things which are unethical you should be pointing it out. But one of the reasons I believe to be behind the rise in quackery in the world is the widely held belief that scientists are inherently evil. It’s the marketing and legal sections of pharmas that have questionable ethics, but the scientists trying to do good get tarred with the same brush. There are a lot of people out there who believe evil scientists deliberately make their drugs addictive (to sell more of them) and deliberately engineer side effects (to sell other drugs) and torture bunnies cos it’s fun. These are conversations I’ve had down the pub many many times, and putting the word evil on the back of the book (even when aimed at the corporations) is just going to reinforce those opinions amongst those people.
    Having just ended a 13 year career as a research scientist in a major pharma it’s become clear to me that the only industry that actively tries to improve people lives (in significant ways, not just by giving them ipods) is also the 2nd most despised, after arms dealers. Highlight their shortcomings, by all means, but they’re no more inherently evil than global capitalism in general.

  116. underblog said,

    March 4, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Something about science by press release?

    PR bullshitters?

  117. brainduck said,

    March 4, 2009 at 2:06 am

    Ben, once again, if you really mean:
    ‘I want to be plagiarised, I want you to steal my ideas, that’s exactly what they’re here for, and the same goes, with some vague caveats, for mainstream media. I’d prefer you to say where the stuff came from, so that people can find more of the same if they like it, but to my mind that’s a matter of panache rather than law or money’
    then please use a Creative Commons licence (creativecommons.org/license/) instead of copyright.
    If publishers won’t let you for the book, and finding different publishers isn’t an option, then at least stick one on this blog.
    Encouraging people to break the law is not always a bad thing, but better to set up structures where doing the right thing does not mean you have to.

  118. Indy said,

    March 4, 2009 at 7:42 am

    omnis – I agree, and am saddened you’ve chosen to leave Big Pharma (better to have good people on the inside I say).

    BTW Endarkenment is brilliant!!!!

  119. briantist said,

    March 4, 2009 at 7:53 am

    probably far too late, but my one would have been “Doctors who … are not doctors”.

  120. Andrew Clegg said,

    March 4, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Endarkenment comes from Francis Wheen’s Mumbo-Jumbo book doesn’t it?

    BTW read Black Mass by John Gray if you think the Enlightenment was all good…

  121. Andrew Clegg said,

    March 4, 2009 at 8:10 am

    PS it’s a shame Ben didn’t get “79.4% of dodgy statistics” in there…

  122. devilsadvocate said,

    March 4, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Missed it, huh??

    Dr. Ben Goldacre gives lasting protection against:
    * Autism-causing vaccines
    * Statistical slackness
    * Alien abduction
    * Tabloid-derived toxins
    * Demonic possession
    * Homeopathic poisons
    * Gullibility
    * Arguments from Authority

  123. Rhysickle said,

    March 4, 2009 at 9:47 am

    ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith

  124. Darwinschurch said,

    March 4, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Damn, missed it!

    Just in case,

    *Nonsense
    *Homeopathic bollocks
    *Curmudgeonry
    *pseudoscience

  125. Nick Bland said,

    March 4, 2009 at 10:33 am

    quacks and snakeoil salesmen?

  126. John said,

    March 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

    “Policy-based evidence making”

  127. MissPrism said,

    March 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

    and the rest of the the bollocks du jour

  128. duboing said,

    March 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Any room for the word ‘charlatan’ in there? I don’t think it’s used enough these days.

  129. Pete Beaudro said,

    March 4, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    maybe go for ‘Goldacre, PI’, with a photo of you looking quizically through a magnifying glass at a copy of the Mail, particularly trained on the word ‘narwhal’ (for plentyofants). The entire headline would read ‘sex with narwhals causes cancer’.

    It’s a sure-fire winner – hell, I’d buy another copy.

  130. cat said,

    March 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    It’s too late, and too few people would get it anyway, but:

    “Anecdata”.

  131. chatsubo said,

    March 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Ben Goldacre said,
    March 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    i like:

    marketing bullshit
    factless arguments

    should i make them drop Dr from Dr Ben Goldacre? i hate hate hate hate HATE the way they slightly seem to be insisting on presenting the book as a rabid hate screed from an authority figure, when the only thing i really add is that it is the absolute opposite of that.”

    U.N. Representative: So, Mr. Evil… Dr. Evil: It’s Dr. Evil, I didn’t spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called “mister,” thank you very much

  132. T said,

    March 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    How can you not wish to have Dr on the back panel??
    You are actually a Dr this gives you OFFICIAL gravitas unlike Mac Keith
    My five would be

    •Yourself
    •Almost all of the people you will ever meet
    •Every thing you see on TV
    •Everything you read
    •miasmas

  133. DrDaveExeter said,

    March 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Late as usual, but for your next edition you might add “Dry, flaky equations”

    KUTGW

  134. NuclearChicken said,

    March 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    So what’s made it on the final list then?

  135. konomios said,

    March 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    T, I think he doesn’t want to have Dr on the back precisely because he doesn’t want “OFFICIAL gravitas”. One of the points he makes in the book is that you shouldn’t trust someone’s opinion just because of a title they have.

    After all, McKeith called herself Dr…

  136. Diversity said,

    March 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Ben
    Whether or not you are the most sanctimonious person in the known universe (my Baysian prior bets 10 to the eigth: 1 against), I remember fondly the joy of telling a German academic conference organiser that I should not be introduced as Herr Professor Dr.Dr., nor as Herr Professor Dr. since I held neither a Professorship nor a Doctorate.

    Latin is out of fashion (though medicos learn some), but for a suitable audience(or a Vatican edition of Bad Science) you might add to the list:

    supressio veri
    suggestio falsi

  137. T said,

    March 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Ha yes I see your point! I haven’t actually read this book yet…I’m waiting for it to come back to the library. so i can read it for free

  138. Jenfa said,

    March 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    On a completely unrelated note, I have been looking at your merchandise page. How is it possible that an extremely small pair of pants is more costly than a t-shirt? :/

  139. Scrotley said,

    March 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    RICOCKULOUSNESS!!!

    Damn.

  140. 24alex said,

    March 5, 2009 at 5:35 am

    +1 for [strikethrough]dr[/strikethrough] gillian mckieth

  141. 24alex said,

    March 5, 2009 at 5:36 am

    Bollocks, that was meant to be a crossed out Dr. infront of her name!

  142. Queex said,

    March 5, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    “All kinds of things you didn’t know weren’t bad for you”

    “Snake-oil salesmen in lab coats”

  143. TimW said,

    March 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    And a partridge in a pear tree.

  144. ed rowe said,

    March 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Don’t know about the back of your book, Ben, but can you please put an index in this time? Check out the Society of Indexers for reasons why or, if you want the quick version, so I can find my way round it more quickly. No, I’m not an indexer BTW. Cheers.

  145. Kallis said,

    March 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Far too late now but…

    Blurb writers

  146. Redski said,

    March 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Go whole hog: Measles, mumps and rubella

  147. MrMalcontent said,

    March 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    110% of statistical errors

  148. frisbee said,

    March 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Kinda obvious. Should be Bad Science

  149. mikewhit said,

    March 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    But apart from the cover what is the difference between old and new books ?

    Please. I believe I have asked before … without success. And I bought an old one.

  150. NelC said,

    March 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Oh, good gods, yes, I have to agree with Ed: index! I really don’t want to have to re-read nearly the whole book to find again the disease the French associate with vaccines, for example. I will re-read the book at some point, but I also feel the need to pick at the bones occasionally.

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