Hot foul air

November 1st, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in alternative medicine, homeopathy, mondo academico, nutritionists, PhDs, doctors, and qualifications | 78 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday 1st November 2008

Guy Ritchie has cancelled Madonna’s order for tens of thousands of pounds worth of special Kabbalah water to fill their swimming pool. It’s always uncomfortable when we have to humour someone close to us in the name of avoiding conflict. Right now in Thames Valley University, for example, entire science departments must be feeling slightly embarrassed about their degrees in quackery. Because despite the refusal of all universities to openly disclose what they teach on these – uniquely their ideas must be shielded from critical appraisal – the leaks keep coming, and Professor David Colquhoun of UCL continues to archive the comedy on his website.

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More crap journals?

October 4th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, MMR, mondo academico, publication bias, regulating research, utter nonsense | 15 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday October 4 2008

Important and timely news from the Journal of Medical Hypotheses this week: ejaculating could be “a potential treatment of nasal congestion in mature males.” My reason for bothering you with this will become clear later. Read the rest of this entry »

Am I misunderstanding something, or is this paper both stupid AND racist?

August 9th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, mondo academico | 63 Comments »

Okay now look. I realise that political correctness has made it difficult to talk around some issues involving race, biology, and culture. I realise that some subjects have been effectively closed to discussion, under fear of accusations of racism. I don’t want to throw these accusations around wildly.

But can somebody please tell me what possible good there is to be found in this paper from the journal Medical Hypotheses, founded by controversialist David Horrobin:

“Down subjects and Oriental population share several specific attitudes and characteristics”
Federica Mafrica and Vincenzo Fodale.
Medical Hypotheses (2007) 69, 438–440

The central thrust of their argument is that people with Down’s Syndrome have a lot in common with people from oriental countries. Read the rest of this entry »