The noble and ancient tradition of moron-baiting

May 28th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, heroes, heroes of bad science | 23 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 29 May 2010

This week a man called Martin Gardner died, aged 95. His popular maths column in Scientific American (and 50 books on the subject) spanned the decades, but in 1952 he published a book about pseudoscience, quacks, and credulous journalists. How much do you think has changed over 60 years?

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Righteous mischief from Archie Cochrane

April 14th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, heroes, heroes of bad science, statistics, uncertainty | 10 Comments »

imageWorking on an editorial about the importance of evidence based social policy, I re-discovered this moment of genius from Archie Cochrane which I thought I’d share. It’s 1971, he’s part way through a randomised trial comparing Coronary Care Units against home care, and the time has come to share some results with the cardiologists.

I am not asking you to appreciate the results: this was a long time ago, and the findings will not be generalisable to modern CCU’s.

I am inviting you to appreciate the mischief.

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Today’s bible reading

December 25th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, heroes, heroes of bad science, religion | 26 Comments »

On the birthday of Jesus Christ – who was clearly a very nice guy, giant sky wizard issues aside – I can think of no better bible reading than this, Daniel 1:8, a description of the first ever clinical trial.

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UCL, Colquhoun, and Dr Ann Walker – A victory for common sense.

June 13th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in alternative medicine, bad science, heroes of bad science | 32 Comments »

UCL have just issued a smashing statement on Prof Colquhoun’s de-excommunication.

www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0706/07061303

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The Mighty David Colquhoun

June 9th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, heroes of bad science, stifling criticism | 56 Comments »

[Update: Letter from Provost below]

Ben Goldacre
Saturday June 9, 2007
The Guardian

I’ve always said you’d get a lot more kids interested in science if you told them it involves fighting – which of course it does. This week, for example, Professor David Colquhoun FRS – one of the most eminent scientists in the UK – has been forced to remove his quackbusting blog from the UCL servers where it has lived for many years, after complaints from disgruntled alternative therapists.

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In Praise of Genius

November 24th, 2006 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, heroes of bad science | 5 Comments »

Superlative quackhunting by the formidable (in the french pronunciation of the word) Prof David Colquhoun FRS, chasing down those cheeky scamps from “Stop Snoring”, and their claim-rich TV adverts. They bang on about clinical trials. Colquhoun… finds them and reads them…

www.ucl.ac.uk/Pharmacology/dc-bits/quack.html#snore

Ah me, simple pleasures. It’s amazing how the Read the rest of this entry »