Some talks in the US and Canada. COME!

January 30th, 2013 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 2 Comments »

Bad Pharma is out in the US and Canada on 5th Feb, which is extremely good news (sorry about the delay, floods and hurricanes apparently..). I’ll be doing a few public lectures in various places, alongside media stuff and other things, there’s a list of open ones below.

If you’re a US podcaster or blogger and you want to chat about bad behaviour in the pharma industry then do please email the three of us (

Also: in the UK I’ve done a gazillion talks, and the most fun things always come from random people. So if from the list below it looks like I’m passing through your town and you want me to do a talk in your university, a pub, or an event, or you think there’s someone I should meet, a campaigner, an academic, a journalist, then please contact for Canada, and for the US. Do also cc me,, and we’ll try to fit it in around the various bits of other work while I’m out there.



You can buy the US edition of Bad Pharma here.

Sun 17th Feb 7:30pm
Powell’s Bookstore, 1005 West Burnside.
Talk, Q&A, and signing


Mon 18th Feb 7:30pm
Town Hall, downstairs, enter on Seneca Street
Talk, Q&A, and signing:


Thurs 21st Feb 7:00pm
Talk, Q&A, and signing
NYC Skeptics at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street


Friday, 15th Feb, 7:30pm
Massey College lecture, free and open to the public.

Thursday 14th Feb, 6pm-8pm
Pub talk organised by @julia, free, open to all


If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

2 Responses

  1. Nuschler said,

    February 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Dr. Goldacre,
    I just read your article in the NY Times regarding the lack of results of clinical trials backing up medicine, procedures, and medical devices. Gee! Money is the bottom line? What a concept!

    Any chance you could swing South to Atlanta? We DO have the CDC AND CNN!

    I have been on the front lines of both family practice and trauma medicinefor the past 45 years…Yes I had been practicing for 4 years before you were even born.

    I wish I had time to do good research…but I can only look at anecdotal experience and depend heavily on clinical trials! I am flummoxed when I realize that I have to depend on a pharmaceutical rep to explain new meds or new tools of the trade. I knew how lousy clinical trials were before reading your article…it was just nauseating to see actual percentages! Even when my patients have an adverse reaction to a med or medical device I just do NOT have time to sit down and fill out 16 pages of an adverse rxn report!

    I was the provider who found out that Lyrica can cause not only suicidal ideation but suicidal ACTION! My patient took Lyrica prescribed by a “specialist” I had sent her to for Fibromyalgia. I won’t go into specifics but this woman almost died at her own hand…for THIS I went back and found the initial clinical trials and found out that 2% (!!!!) of the patients did have this same suicidal action! I then found the time to fill out the report and now the commercial for Lyrica includes the warning for suicidal action.

    I download the iPodcast for latest scientific studies on “Nature.” My first PhD is in Molecular Biology and I did clinical research on cell surface antibodies before post grad school. I watched how good research is done…and I watched as real IDIOTS did research! I remember one PhD who got a $100,000 grant using radioactive isotopes. He bought all these isotopes IN THE FIRST WEEK OF A FIVE YEAR STUDY! Hello? Have you heard of decay or half-lives in isotopes? Medical Doctors are NOT trained in research. We desperately need more MD-PhD programs such as found at Washington University of St.Louis.

    One other aspect of clinical trials that drives me nuts is the restrictions placed on trial subjects. I realize that a researcher needs to have as few variables as possible…but my patients don’t fit into neat categories and demographics!

    Oh well! I can read your book and get even more discouraged!

  2. Antares said,

    February 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Ben!

    I watched both of your talks and I have to say they’re brilliant. Well-argued and thoroughly explained without being boring or condescending.

    But (there’s always a “but”, isn’t there?) – and I assume you’ve gotten this comment before – you know that the alt-med folks will jump at this and claim it as evidence that EBM is useless and “science is corrupted”. Or along those lines. You’ve been in these trenches long enough, you know the spiel. Like what happened with the beautiful Ioannidis paper that showed that “Most Published Research Findings Are False”.

    What I mean is… maybe the TED studio audience is enlightened enough, and maybe it would derail the point you’re making too much, but would it be possible to -in future talks on the topic- include some remarks that while some of the rules of the game of medicine and science are bent and broken, that much of alternative medicine doesn’t even qualify? That while there’s a problem in scientific medicine that valid studies go missing, that the opponents don’t even have valid studies in the first place?

    Anyway, thanks for your amazing work!