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Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks Paperback – Jul 5 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Emblem Editions (July 5 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771035799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771035791
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.6 x 18.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"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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Format: Kindle Edition
While it preaches to the choir to a certain extent, many incisive and eye-opening facts are presented in a very engaging manner.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is an accurate portrayl of the subject but, in the greater scheme of things, it also reflects the absolute power of the media to influence our thought patterns. It was Joseph Goebbels who said that if a lie is repeated often enough, it will be accepted as the truth.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The writing is clever and funny. The author brings effective points and relevant examples to illustrate his statements.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems to bother UK physician Ben Goldacre that pharmaceutical companies and the purveyors of "alternative" medicines sometimes intentionally manipulate data to mislead patients and doctors about the safety and efficacy of their products.How or why might they do this? Goldacre does a fine job of outlining a deeply disturbing practice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only halfway through and already in love with it. He takes complex aspects of critical thinking and clinical research and makes them approachable for a novice reader. Highly recommend it.
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