Nadine Dorries and the Hand of Hope – updated with response to Dorries’ unusual surgical claims

March 19th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, badscience, religion | 45 Comments »

You will remember Nadine Dorries MP, anti-abortion campaigner. She was heavily involved in promoting those dubious pre-term survival figures which were presented to the Science and Technology Select Committe enquiry, an Read the rest of this entry »

Evidence Check: parliament being… good

August 4th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 31 Comments »

Select committees are pretty much the only place in parliament where MPs do what you’d naively hope they do all the time: sit down, hear a lot of evidence on an important issue, and then have a good hard think about it. In February the Department for Innovations, Universities, Science and Skills asked you what they should be looking at. Now they’ve identified a few key areas, and have formally requested government to report back on what evidence they have to underpin their activities in each one. Subjects include regulations for synthetic biology, the teaching of ‘pseudoscience’ at universities (which I suggested last time!), screening, the licensing of homeopathic products by the MHRA, the use of offender data, and more. They’re asking you for more, and you should give them your suggestion, instructions and email below.

Evidence based policy is really important, and it’s definitely worth getting involved in this kind of thing, especially since it looks like a few of the subjects they’re already looking at are drawn from the suggestions sent in by you and archived in the comments here: Read the rest of this entry »

Oooooh I’m in the Minority Report!

October 31st, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, religion | 87 Comments »

This is officially the most exciting moment of my hobby as a writer. The Parliamentary Science and Tech Select Committee have published a very sensible report about the evidence for and against a change in the Abortion laws. The Minority Report is an extra report, bolted on as an appendix: they are there for when there are members of a select committee who don’t like the actual report.

In the case of this Minority Report on abortion, it’s a rollercoaster ride of pseudoscience and dubious data, signed by one Tory MP with the support of one other, and I highly recommend giving it a read. I’ve posted the PDF here, until it appears on the parliament website.

If you want a good example of how spectacularly weak the evidence behind this “Minority Report” is, then you need look no further than the bit where they talk about, er, well, me, bafflingly:

Read the rest of this entry »

Parlour games

October 27th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, religion | 10 Comments »

Here’s a fun parlour game suggested Read the rest of this entry »