Is it okay to ignore results from people you don’t trust?

March 6th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, media, media research, tobacco | 39 Comments »

Ben goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 6 March 2010

If the media were actuarial about drawing our attention to the causes of avoidable death, your newspapers would be filled with diarrhoea, Aids, and cigarettes every day. In reality we know this is an absurd idea. For those interested in the scale of our fascination with rarity, one piece of research looked at a 3 month period in 2002 and found that 8,571 people had to die from smoking to generate one story on the subject from the BBC, while there were 3 stories for every death from vCJD. Read the rest of this entry »

Chapter 1024, in which my prejudices about journalists are rendered in quantitative form.

June 21st, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, media, media research | 19 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday June 21, 2008

The best thing about this job is you have an excuse to read the Daily Mail every day: but sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I worry that it might infect me. We are all biased by the information we expose ourselves to, through our friends, our reading, and our choices in life. I think science coverage is pretty poor, and a lot of it is plainly wrong. Am I biased by my work? Do I see only the bad, in a very literal sense? Like many before it, this is a problem which can only be cracked with an ingenious idea from 20,000BC called “counting” (quibblers are welcome, my date is from the notched “Ishango bone“).
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