About Dr Ben Goldacre


If you’re after a two paragraph bio and high resolution photo for your conference, or some other event I’m speaking at, that is at the bottom of this page. The Wikipedia page on me, as for a lot of living people, is often pretty random and strange!


ben goldacre

Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, and more.

His first book Bad Science” (4th Estate) has sold over 500,000 copies to date, is published in 18 countries, and reached number one in the UK non-fiction bestseller charts. Bad Pharma, just out, is on bad behaviour in the pharmaceutical industry and medicine more broadly: it is now a top ten UK best seller.

In policy work, he co-authored this influential Cabinet Office paper in 2012, advocating for randomised trials in government, and setting out mechanisms to drive this forwards. In 2013 he conducted an independent external review for the Department for Education, on improving the creation and use of evidence in the teaching sector (the public component of this work is published here). He is the co-founder of the AllTrials campaign – now supported by over 50,000 individuals, 120 patient groups, GSK, and all major academic and medical bodies in the UK – working towards a concrete fix for the ongoing problem of clinical trial results being withheld. He has given evidence on numerous occasions to multiple parliamentary select committees including the Public Accounts Committee (withheld clinical trials and Tamiflu),Science and Technology (withheld clinical trials, homeopathy), Health (privacy and electronic patient data), and Culture Media & Sport (libel).

He is also the founder and director of BetterData, a non-profit organisation building fun projects to create and use data more effectively in healthcare and academia. BetterData’s first major public project is RandomiseMe, a free online tool that anyone can use to create and run a randomised controlled trial. There are similar projects in the pipeline, and more data collaborations like PrescribingAnalytics, which has identified several hundred million pounds of potential NHS savings, and NerdyDayTrips, a crowdsourced global map of dorky days out.

Ben has written the weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian since 2003. It’s archived on this site along with blogposts, columns for the British Medical Journal, and other writing.

There are lots of clips of Ben on telly here, and a talk at TEDGlobal here. He has made various documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and The World Service on science, libel, policy, and epidemiology: The Placebo Effect is a two-part series, The Rise of the Lifestyle Nutritionists is another. He’s appeared on the Today programme lots of times, QI, Any Questions, Newsnight, Start The Week, The Now Show, Loose Ends, PM, Quote Unquote, Watchdog, and various other things. In the US he’s been on shows such as On The Media and Radiolab. You can find plenty of this if you dig around on the site, along with lectures, podcast interviews, maybe start here.

He has toured theatres and rock venues and given over 300 talks in the past 5 years, from comedy clubs and music festivals to universities and schools, the Hammersmith Apollo, and various government departments. You can book him for after dinner speaking by emailing sballard@unitedagents.co.uk.

He’s received lots of awards for writing, and a few honorary doctorates.ben goldacre

Ben was trained in medicine in Oxford and London. You can contact him about work on ben@badscience.net, he can’t reply to everything, but it does get read. He is 39 and currently works as an academic in epidemiology. He does not see private patients.




For books and journalism, or if you need high resolution photos for media please contact: Sarah Ballard through Zoe Ross zross@unitedagents.co.uk

For TV and Radio: Rosemary Scoular (although for quick stuff it might be easier just to email me) rscoular@unitedagents.co.uk


Speaking engagements:

I do talks on the misuse of science and statistics in medicine, business, journalism, government, and more. They are funny and informative, depending on whether it’s after dinner or the beginning of the day, kids, adults, or people in suits. This cross-subsidises my other work, so you can feel the warm glow of helping to get good things done by booking me through sballard@unitedagents.co.uk and zross@unitedagents.co.uk

Here is my TED talk. I am also capable of speaking at normal speeds. 



If you’ve somehow got my mobile number, you should know that email gets me instantly and faster, ben@badscience.net.





Three paragraph biog:


Ben Goldacre is a doctor, academic, campaigner and writer whose work focuses on uses and misuses of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, drug companies and quacks. His first book Bad Science reached #1 in the UK non-fiction charts and has sold over half a million copies worldwide. His second book Bad Pharma discusses problems in medicine, focusing on missing trials, badly designed research, and biased dissemination of evidence. His third is a collection of columns and papers. He wrote the Bad Science column for a decade in the UK Guardian newspaper, and has written for the Times, the Telegraph, the Mail, the New York Times, the BMJ, and more, alongside presenting documentaries for the BBC, and appearing regularly on radio and TV.

In policy work, he is co-author of a 2012 UK government Cabinet Office paper on getting more randomised controlled trials on policy questions; conducted an independent external review in 2012 for the Department For Education on how to improve the use of evidence in teaching; and is co-founder of AllTrials, a campaign by doctors, academics, funders, pharmacists, professional bodies, patients and the public, to prevent trial results being withheld. His non-profit company Better Data has built Randomise Me, an open trials platform for the general public; he is PI on OpenTrials, a linked database on clinical trials; and he has worked on various health IT projects such as prescribinganalytics.com and openprescribing.org.

Ben is currently a Research Fellow in Epidemiology at LSHTM, and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in the University of Oxford. His blog is at www.badscience.net and he is @bengoldacre on twitter.

(270 words).



Copyright-free high resolution photo: