Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks Paperback – Jul 5 2011
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"For sheer savagery, the illusion-destroying, joyous attack on the self-regarding, know-nothing orthodoxies of the modern middle classes, Bad Science can not be beaten. You'll laugh your head off, then throw all those expensive health foods in the bin."
— The Observer (U.K.)
"One of the essential reads of the year."
— New Scientist
"If you were to pick up just one non-fiction book this year, you'd do well to make it this one."
— Daily Mail
"Thousands of books are enjoyable; many are enlightening; only a very few will ever rate as necessary to social health. This is one of them."
— The Independent
"It should be on the national curriculum."
— Time Out (five stars)
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
BEN GOLDACRE is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and medical doctor who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, dodgy government reports, evil pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies, and quacks. He has written a weekly "Bad Science" column in the Guardian since 2003, and has made acclaimed documentaries for BBC Radio, including "The Placebo Effect" and "The Rise of the Lifestyle Nutritionists." Trained in Oxford and London, with brief forays into academia, he is thirty-five and works full-time as a medical doctor in London.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The core message of the book is that the vast majority of what is written and read today about "health" and "diets" and other similar subjects concerning our well-being are in actual fact supported by claims that have utterly vacuous science behind them — if any at all. If you're into homeopathy or any New Age-y methodologies for improving your quality of life, you're in for some rude awakenings.
One subject that is thankfully covered in detail is the complexity of the placebo effect. Because many of the readers of Goldacre's critique will quickly fire back the expected "but they DO work for me!" arguments, he has taken the time to explain what the placebo effect actually is — why it "working" may not mean quite what you expect — and how truly fascinating the science behind it is.
He is also quick to point out that the placebo effect, carefully dressed, is also what has allowed the book's villainous charlatans to mislead and exploit the gullible, the tired, the sick, and the stupid for so long.
As far as a pop-lit critique of modern scientific marketing goes, I consider it required reading. As a scholarly effort, it's not without its problems, but those neither diminish its value nor cloud the integrity of its point.
The world would be a better place if all highschool students had "Bad Science" on their mandatory reading lists.
One only has to look as far as the politics of where ever you are to see the same bad science (unsuitable politicians) elected/appointed on the shaky grounds of excellent advertising.
I guess it's all common sense for most PhDs, but this book is obviously aimed to the "average person", or simply people who don't know much about statistics.
Very good read, it strengthens your judgment.
Most recent customer reviews
Interesting book about the subject matter with a smattering of humour.Published 2 months ago by kaz
Easy read, yet still written in a very sophisticated manner. An eye-opener.Published 6 months ago by Jon Munroe