Aids denialism at the Spectator

October 24th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science | 113 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, Saturday 24 October 2009, The Guardian.

A lot of strange stuff can fly in under the claim that you are “simply starting a debate”. You may remember the Aids denialist documentary House Of Numbers from 3 weeks ago. Since then, it has received many glowing outings. The London Raindance film festival explained that they were proud to show it, and a senior programmer appeared on Youtube saying they had gone through the film at 15 second intervals, finding no inaccuracies at all.

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House of Numbers

September 26th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science | 93 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, 26 September 2009, The Guardian.

This week, listening to the Guardian Science podcast, I had a treat. Caspar Melville, editor of New Humanist magazine, leader of something called the Rationalist Association, had been to see two films at the Cambridge Film Festival. One was a dreary creationist movie that famously misrepresented the biologists interviewed for it. This was obvious bad science, he explained. But the other was different: House of Numbers, a new film about Aids, really had something in it. Read the rest of this entry »

Medical Hypotheses fails the Aids test

September 12th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science | 61 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, 12 September 2009, The Guardian

This week the peer review system has been in the newspapers, after a survey of scientists suggested it had some problems. This is barely news. Peer review – where articles submitted to an academic journal are reviewed by other scientists from the same field for an opinion on their quality – has always been recognised as problematic. It is timeconsuming, it could be open to corruption, and it cannot prevent fraud, plagiarism, or duplicate publication, although in a more obvious case it might. The problem with peer review is, it’s hard to find anything better.

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Please give us all your money

September 5th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science, big pharma, patents | 90 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, 5 September 2009, The Guardian

How do patents affect science? This week in India, US drug company Gilead lost their appeal to stop local companies making cheap copies of their Aids drug Tenofovir. They are not alone: in 2007 Novartis lost a lengthy case trying to force the Indian government into strengthening their weak patent laws. India remains the free pharmacy of the world.

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What would you say to people from the developing world who use science to make decisions, but don’t necessarily always have a lot of time, or know a lot about it?

May 16th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science | 98 Comments »

I’ve been asked to facilitate a couple of sessions with some civil servant types from various countries in the developing world who advise their governments on science, and particularly on the science informing policy and purchasing decisions. The idea is to focus on how people might try and mislead you with science, and the range of scientific background and understanding in this group will be pretty wide, as it always is with civil servants. Since I’ve noticed a recurring theme for readers of this blog to be a bit cleverer than me (albeit less dogged and obsessive) I was hoping you might have some ideas about the kinds of areas to cover, the themes that are relevant, and the kind of structure to use. Read the rest of this entry »

What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong?

January 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in africa, aids, bad science | 28 Comments »

Sorry, up against it on time, I’ll post a longer version of this article with links later on x

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday 3 January 2009

Happy New Year and everything, but know this: nothing has changed, people continue to have stupid ideas, newspapers continue to laud them, and lives will be lost. Here is just one: What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong? That was the title of a book by Christine Maggiore, an HIV/Aids-denialist lauded in the American media. She is now dead. Read the rest of this entry »