How vaccine scares respect local cultural boundaries.

April 24th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in africa, bad science, book, MMR | 16 Comments »

I was on Newsnight this evening, discussing the measles outbreak in Swansea, and how we can get people vaccinated with MMR when they’ve previously refused. In my view: prevention is better than cure, it’s hard to reverse a scare story once the toothpaste is out of the tube, and we must innoculate ourselves against future vaccine scares, because they will come. That’s why services like Behind The Headlines are important. Here’s the video:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01s5bn7/Newsnight_24_04_2013/

At the end, Jeremy Paxman seemed (endearingly) amazed to hear that vaccine scares respect local cultural boundaries. Here’s what I was discussing, in an extract from my first book Bad Science (this bit’s from pages 292-4 of the red paperback):

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A staggeringly weak interview of Andrew Wakefield on the Today programme

May 24th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, MMR | 47 Comments »

Uninformed reporter fails to present even the most basic GMC allegations of misrepresenting individual patients findings. Read the rest of this entry »

The Wakefield MMR verdict

January 28th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, MMR | 135 Comments »

Here’s a very brief piece I bashed out for the Guardian newsdesk today on the Wakefield finding, the further reading below will be more helpful if you’re interested in the story.

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Thursday 28 January 2009

In medicine, “untoward incident inquiries” tend to look for systems failures, rather than one individual to blame. Read the rest of this entry »

Experts say new scientific evidence helpfully justifies massive pre-existing moral prejudice.

April 18th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in dodgy academic press releases, mail, medicalisation, MMR, scare stories, telegraph | 72 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday April 18, 2009
The Guardian

Is it somehow possible – and I know I’m going out on a limb here – that journalists wilfully misinterpret and ignore scientific evidence, simply in order to generate stories that reflect their own political and cultural prejudices? Because my friend Martin, from the excellent layscience blog, has made a pretty excellent discovery. Read the rest of this entry »

Christ I need a haircut

March 11th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, MMR | 77 Comments »

Here’s a fun piece I did with Nick Wallis for ITV London on Monday. Bad hair, ridiculous venue changes, and tiggerish over-excitablility aside, I think it’s actually quite good, and the wholesome outro at the end made me want to give Alastair Stewart a great big cuddle.

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Pay to play?

February 14th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in competing interests, MMR, regulating research | 46 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday February 14 2009
The Guardian

This column is about tainted medical research, not MMR. Now don’t get me wrong: it’s still an interesting week to be right about vaccines. On Sunday Read the rest of this entry »

LBC, MMR, Jeni Barnett, an Early Day Motion, the Times, and, er, a bit of Stephen Fry…

February 10th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, dangers, jeni barnett, LBC, legal chill, MMR, regulating media, scare stories, stifling criticism | 155 Comments »

I thought since a few days have passed that I should let you know what’s happening with the slightly ridiculous LBC situation. If you skip to the bottom you will find a discussion on some mischievous activism which I think has great potential.

Since LBC unwisely threw their legal weight around to prevent you from being able to freely experience and ponder that astonishing 44 minute tirade against MMR, the inevitable has happened. The audio has been posted on a huge number of websites around the world, over 120 blogs so far are linking to the story, and more importantly, hundreds of thousands of people are talking and reading about the ignorance that Jeni Barnett exemplified in that worrying broadcast. It has been covered in the Times, and an Early Day Motion is being set down in parliament.

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Er, “help”. Legal Chill from LBC 97.3 and “Global Radio” over Jeni Barnett’s MMR scaremongering

February 5th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in Global Radio, jeni barnett, legal chill, MMR, stifling criticism | 234 Comments »

[Update: recent developments are now available here, including an EDM in parliament and discussion in mainstream media]

[Update: links to transcripts and audio hosted elsewhere at bottom of post]

One more thing, since Stephen Fry excellently tweeted this post to his 8 billion followers (weirdly he wakes me up every morning) I’ve had to activate supercache to prevent the site from dying. This means your comments will be stored for later but can only appear intermittently, sorry about that, nice to have you, and do look around for the site for more educational moron-baiting entertainment.

LBC have instructed their lawyers to contact me.

Two days ago I posted about a 7th Jan 2009 broadcast in which their presenter Jeni Barnett exemplified some of the most irresponsible, ill-informed, and ignorant anti-vaccination campaigning that I have ever heard on the public airwaves. This is important because it can cost lives, and you can read about the media’s MMR hoax here.

To illustrate my grave concerns, I posted the relevant segment about MMR from her show, 44 minutes, which a reader kindly excerpted for me from the rest of the three hour programme. It is my view that Jeni Barnett torpedoes her reputation in that audio excerpt so effectively that little explanation is needed.

LBC’s lawyers say that the clip I posted is a clear infringement of their copyright, that I must take it down immediately, that I must inform them when I have done so, and that they “reserve their rights”.

To me this raises several problems:

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Bad Science Bingo, with Jeni Barnett… NOW with added legal chill

February 3rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, jeni barnett, LBC, MMR | 146 Comments »

Sorry I had no column in the paper this week, there’s some very good fun stuff coming in the next month if I can pull it together safely. Meanwhile, in case any of you are feeling complacent, I offer you this truly magnificent performance on MMR by Jeni Barnett from LBC Radio on the 7th January 2009. I hope you enjoy this clip as much as I do.

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It’s not my fault I fall into repetitive self parody. You started it.

December 6th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in express, independent, mail, media, mirror, MMR, telegraph | 157 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday December 6 2008

Writing this column only really scares me because I wonder whether everything else in the media is as shamelessly, venally, manipulatively, one-sidedly, selectively reported on as the things I know about. I’m not going to go on about MMR again. But this week the reality editing was truly without comparison. Read the rest of this entry »