Posts Tagged Bad Science

Bad Science

This is another in my occasional series of posts about the web sites and forums I visit on a regular basis.

I started reading Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science columns in the Guardian every Saturday three or four years ago. I eventually signed up for the website and forum.


Well, for a start the pieces are well written and often amusing, even when they deal with serious subjects, but they are never flippant (well not the pieces in the paper anyway). As well as highlighting everything that’s bad about pseudo-science, homeopathy, alternative therapies and the like, he also targets the bad science of the pharmaceutical companies, the bad science reporting of newspapers and so on. He seems to be making a difference as he is increasingly appearing on programs such as Watchdog on the BBC [link] as the voice of reason and I have seen a number of other columnists in the Guardian particularly take a similar line.

He is particularly annoyed by those who still peddle the myth that the MMR vaccine (or the preservatives in the vaccine) is the cause of bowel disease and autism. You can even buy a baby’s bib with the words “MMR is safe tell your friends” printed on it.

The forum is a good place to go for recent sightings of Bad Science – usually on the Daily Mail website it has to be said, and often lively debate about all sorts of topics. There’s even a Meaningless Banter board for completely unrelated discussions, though it has to be said that discussions on the Bad Science board itself often get derailed.

A number of the regular posters on the forum have interesting blogs (in no particular order):

There’s not much more to say on this really. I think that the columns and the discussion boards are essential reading for everyone. It will help you spot when the newspapers and television news are simply regurgitating press releases, when the science simply doesn’t support what someone says it does and, most importantly, why homeopathy can’t work.

© 2009, Chris. All rights reserved. If you republish this post can you please link back to the original post.

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