Teaching science with bad science: resources for teachers

July 24th, 2014 by Ben Goldacre in teaching resources | 4 Comments »

People often wring their hands over how to make science “relevant” to the public, or to young people. For me, this is an open goal: we are constantly barraged with health claims in popular culture, and evidence based medicine is the science of how we know what does good, and what does harm. Every popular claim is an opportunity to learn about the relative merits and downsides of randomised trials, systematic reviews, cohort studies, laboratory work, and more.

I got together with Collins, the people who make the biggest selling GCSE textbooks, and we’ve made some resources for teachers who are interested in covering these kinds of things at school.  

Screenshot 2014-07-24 13.28.44

For each topic, there is a lesson plan, hand-outs, and so on. Everything is laid out to make it as easy as possible for teachers to just get stuck in. You may also be amused to see that Collins were too shy to call Brain Gym by name.

Screenshot 2014-07-24 13.35.15

I hope you find these useful. They’re not perfect, and we’re keen to improve them. As it happens, I’m at a meeting today in Oxford organised by the mighty Iain Chalmers on what we can do to get epidemiology and evidence based medicine taught in schools. The Testing Treatments website which he set up is a fantastic, ever-growing resource for people interested in evidence based medicine more broadly. If you’re a teacher, and you want to get involved, or you have suggestions for improvements, my email is ben@badscience.net as ever.

Lastly, if you’re interested in more: here are some very old resources for teachers that I made with NESTA; and here is something I co-authored in the Lancet last year, about why we should have an epidemiology GCSE.


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! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

4 Responses

  1. gaurav8955 said,

    July 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    here is all the stuff. and i like it very good

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  2. Tabla Backer said,

    August 6, 2014 at 3:17 am

    This is great – I can only remember one or two teachers throughout my schooling that questioned what passed for science journalism.

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    September 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

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  4. rblake said,

    September 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Excellent news! I kept thinking while reading Bad Science that there must be some way to get this on the curriculum… Here’s to a better informed generation

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