Nice review of my book in the British Medical Journal by Richard Smith

October 7th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in book, book reviews, onanism | 22 Comments »

Reproduced cheekily below. He’s Arthur Smith‘s brother, don’t you know. Read the rest of this entry »

Seriously. Is the Daily Mail any worse than your average academic journal?

September 20th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in regulating research | 32 Comments »

As someone who is nerdishly fascinated by the systematic analysis of health risk data – check me out, ladies – I sometimes look at the health pages and try to work out what they’re supposed to do, what kind of information they offer, and for who.

This week, for example, you’ll have found: “Teenager helps his twin brother by donating a piece of his back“; “In pain? Take one Botticelli three times a day“; “Taking antibiotics to prevent premature birth can ‘increase risk’ of cerebral palsy“; Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t let the facts spoil a good story

September 19th, 2008 by Ben Goldacre in sun, telegraph | 4 Comments »

Oops sorry, in all the excitement about Matthias Rath I forgot to post last week’s column, here it is.

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday September 13 2008

Here is a cautionary tale for anyone working in research. “Captain Cook and Lord Nelson seem unlikely figureheads in the fight against climate change alarmists,” said the Sun. “Lord Nelson and Captain Cook’s ship logs question climate change theories,” announced the Telegraph. Oh that’s handy. So perhaps we can just keep on burning oil regardless then? “The ships’ logs of great maritime figures such as Lord Nelson and Captain Cook have cast new light on climate change by suggesting that global warming may not be an entirely man-made phenomenon.” Read the rest of this entry »

Patrick Holford – “Food Is Better Than Medicine” South Africa Tour Blighted By HIV Claim

February 27th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in africa, bad science, matthias rath, nutritionists, patrick holford | 64 Comments »

Here’s a bit of a data dump of some of the critical news coverage that Patrick Holford’s “Food Is Better Than Medicine” tour of South Africa has picked up. They’re not very impressed in Africa by his claim that vitamin C is better than AZT, and Holford seems a bit conflicted over it himself. Here’s a typical news quote…

He has also denied news reports which he said implied he had been saying vitamin C was more effective in treating Aids than the ARV medication, AZT. “This is not true,” he said at the weekend. “I have never made this claim. “What I have said in the latest edition of my book, the New Optimum Nutrition Bible… is that ‘AZT, the first prescribable anti-HIV drug, is potentially harmful and proving less effective than vitamin C’.”

And reassuringly, meanwhile, Rath researcher Raxit Jariwalla seems to have backed down somewhat. Here is his Read the rest of this entry »

A new all-time low

January 20th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in africa, bad science, dangers, heroes, matthias rath, nutritionists | 55 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday January 20, 2007
The Guardian

If you think the nutritionists and vitamin peddlers in the UK are weird, you really want to go to South Africa, where President Thabo Mbeki has a long history of siding with the HIV denialists, who believe that HIV does not cause Aids (but that treatments for it do), and where his health minister talks up fruit and vegetables as a treatment, as we have previously covered here.

In this world, Zackie Achmat is a hero: Read the rest of this entry »

Health Cheque (Bad Science June 30 2005)

June 30th, 2005 by Ben Goldacre in africa, alternative medicine, bad science, matthias rath, nutritionists | 3 Comments »

Health cheque

Ben Goldacre
Thursday June 30, 2005
The Guardian

· And so to Africa, where there are “complementary and alternative medicine” practitioners pursuing the fashionable attack on mainstream medicine, just like in the UK. Take Matthias Rath and the Rath Foundation vitamin empire: they’ve been running advertising campaigns in newspapers and poster campaigns near HIV/Aids treatment centres, telling people that anti-retroviral drugs undermine the body’s immune system, and that “micro-nutrients alone can Read the rest of this entry »

“Bad Science” is £2.49 on Kindle for the next week

November 4th, 2011 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 14 Comments »

Briefly: I thought this was a pricing error, but it turns out it’s deliberate, so… My book is £2.49 on Kindle for the next week or so. Read the rest of this entry »

British Chiropractic Association drops shameful libel case against science writer who criticised them

April 15th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, legal chill, libel | 20 Comments »

The BCA have dropped their case. It has not been good for them. It will now get worse. Singh has made it clear that he will pursue them for his costs: this will cost the BCA dearly, and it is money they can ill afford. I’m off to write about it for the Guardian but I thought you’d like to know, BBC and Times pieces below. People who sue people over criticisms of science are fools. The BCA statement, meanwhile, is typically vile. Especially the bit where they talk about being vindicated. Oh, and amusingly this is Chiropractic Awareness Week. Yes. Yes it is.

Read the rest of this entry »

A characteristically amateurish and socially inappropriate approach to pitching an article

May 8th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, legal chill, libel | 21 Comments »

Hi there. I’m going to write 800 words on the British Chiropractic Association suing Simon Singh, and the early adjudication on meanings. I’m assuming the Guardian don’t want it, since they apologised over the original piece (let me know if you do, natch, wld love to). If you are some kind of editor, and you want to print it on paper, let me know, or I’ll give it to Padraig at Index on Censorship, who I love, but they are a bit little, and this issue deserves a wide readership as well.

I will say things like:

Read the rest of this entry »


April 29th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, scare stories, uncertainty | 61 Comments »

This is possibly the most boring thing I’ve ever written in the Guardian, but I have been genuinely weirded out by the number of people inviting me to be a naysayer on the aporkalypse. I’m not, it’s a genuine risk. I ought to add that most of the people who rang, when I explained my position, invited me on anyway, but I’m a bit busy with other stuff, and more importantly (a) I’m not an infectious diseases epidemiologist, and (b) the world doesn’t need another arbitrary pundit to say “it’s a bit of a risk, yes”. [Oh incidentally comments on the site might take a while to appear since alexlomas has activated wp-cache after boingboing very excitingly linked the new Rath chapter.]

Ben Goldacre
Wednesday 29 April 2009 18.30 BST
Read the rest of this entry »