“We are more possible than you can powerfully imagine”

July 29th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in alternative medicine, bad science, legal chill, libel | 37 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Wednesday 29 July 2009

Today the Australian magazine Cosmos, along with a vast number of other blogs and publications, reprinted an article by Simon Singh, in slightly tweaked form, in an act of solidarity. The British Chiropractic Association has been suing Singh personally for the past 15 months, over a piece in the Guardian where he criticised the BCA for claiming that its members could treat children for colic, ear infections, asthma, prolonged crying, and sleeping and feeding conditions by manipulating their spines. Read the rest of this entry »

One of my t-shirts is in the… in the Daily Mail

July 29th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, onanism | 53 Comments »

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Sporting “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that” from the BadScience classic range (mm must make more t-shirts). I can also inform you, looking at our deservedly rubbish sales figures, that this well-dressed young lady is one of 10 people in the universe to own such a t-shirt. Buy one now, and you have a one in ten chance of appearing in the Daily Mail yourself: that’s science.

badscience2.spreadshirt.net/

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Is this a joke?

July 18th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, evidence, evidence based policy, government reports, politics | 64 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, 18 July 2009, The Guardian.

We’d all like to help the police to do their job well. They, in turn, would like to have a massive database with DNA profiles from everyone who has been arrested, but not convicted of a crime.

We worry that this is intrusive, but some of us are willing to make concessions, on our principles, and the invasion into our privacy, in the name of preventing crimes. To do this, we’d like to know the evidence on whether this database is helpful, to help us make an informed decision.

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Rape: a helpful non-correction from the Telegraph

July 16th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, evidence, telegraph | 34 Comments »

Update: Just got an email from Sophia Shaw, the MSc student in question: “I am happy that they have made an apology , but I am very aware that a number of other mistakes were made that were not acknowledge in their statement. Sophia”

The media is a game-like world of blurry truths, where the vague narrative shape of a story matters more than clarity, accuracy and evidence. Three weeks ago the Daily Telegraph published an unpleasant article headlined “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists”. It was based on the unpublished and unfinished dissertation of a masters student and got the story entirely wrong. The title of the press release for the same research was “Promiscuous men more likely to rape”, which gives you some small clue as to how weirdly this story was distorted by the newspaper. I wrote about this two weeks ago here, documenting all of their errors in detail. Read the rest of this entry »

Evidence based revenge

July 11th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, irrationality research, revenge | 41 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 11th July 2009

This week I have attempted to engage in meaningful disputes with morons who have misled their readers using untrue facts. I will rise above it, because I am a nice guy. More importantly, I don’t want to end up being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder, the new mental health problem being debated at the American Psychiatric Association conference.

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Asking for it

July 4th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, evidence, rape, telegraph | 52 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 4 July 2009

There’s nothing like science for giving that objective, white-coat flavoured legitimacy to your prejudices, so it must have been a great day for Telegraph readers when they came across the headline “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists”. Ah, scientists. “Women who drink alcohol, wear short skirts and are outgoing are more likely to be raped, claim scientists at the University of Leicester.” Well there you go. Oddly, though, the title of the press release for the same research was “Promiscuous men more likely to rape”.

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Steve Connor is an angry man

July 1st, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, hate mail, independent | 78 Comments »

image We’re having a meeting in a pub tonight, it’s free to get in and open to all, we’ll talk about the problems with science journalism. Apparently science journalists won’t tolerate this.

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