Anything to declare?

September 7th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, cash-for-"stories" | 22 Comments »

Once every few weeks I get to write something extremely serious in the BMJ.

BMJ 2007;335:480 (8 September), doi:10.1136/bmj.39328.450000.59
Observations – Media watch
Journalists: anything to declare?
Ben Goldacre, doctor and writer, London


“Drug companies wouldn’t pay for the media to attend their events if they didn’t think it would affect coverage, yet journalists’ competing interests usually remain undeclared.”

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Podcast – are we alone?

September 4th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in onanism, podcast | 30 Comments »

View in iTunes

The search for extra terrestrial intelligence continues at SETI, but they also have an excellent podcast at:

This week they had me on as a guest, and I have to say, I think we managed to have an extremely interesting discussion about the medicalisation of culture, risk, homeopathy, the placebo effect, nutritionism, politics, and stuff, in amongst the inevitable “wacky Dr Ben debunks” thing. I seriously recommend downloading the whole thing from the link below, as they have a lot of great guests on the show generally, but here’s my bit, and if you want to subscribe to all audio content on as a podcast, just use this link.

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Imaginary numbers

September 1st, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in cash-for-"stories", evolutionary psychology, statistics | 36 Comments »

[This piece got massively cut for space in the paper, fair enough but personally I can’t bear to look. Here’s the last version I saw, with added email action from Professor Weber at the bottom.]

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
September 1st, 2007

“Jessica Alba has the perfect wiggle, study says”. You have to respect a paper like the Telegraph, especially when they report an important piece of science news like this on their news pages, especially when it gets picked up by other people like Fox news, and especially when it’s accompanied by a photograph of some hot totty. “Jessica Alba, the film actress, has the ultimate sexy strut, according to a team of Cambridge mathematicians.” Read the rest of this entry »