We are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes misleading information - until now.
Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dubious science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases, and missed opportunities of our time. He also shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.
©2008 Ben Goldacre (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
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"A detox for the mind"
Ben Goldacre detests the way in which the media dumb down health and science issues and in so doing cause such negative effects as panic, unwise spending and even death. He covers topics like brain gym, detox treatments, homeopathy, Patrick Holford, placebos and more; all of which one is glad to see exposed to clear scientific light, stripped bare of fuzzy, false and emotive claims. Even the fairly scientific among us can fall prey to the pressures of the media when constantly battered by reports and common assumptions. This book encourages readers to think scientifically, especially before spending their money or becoming hopeful of health or cosmetic transformations (Money is the common motivator for most of the claims made). Although I didn't find the book quite as funny as I had been led to believe I would and occasionally grew tired of the journalistic tone, I am delighted and grateful to have been so entertainingly enlightened. Furthermore I feel better equipped to confront future reports with an objective mind.
"The most fun science book I've read"
You'll be quoting Ben for weeks after listening to this. It's witty and informative and certainly one of those audio books where you make extra time to just hear a little bit more.
"Do give this a try"
Ben Goldacre is knowledgeable and articulate. OK, he does have hobby-horses, but he's honest about these. I completely agree with the general argument that the public need, desperately need, to understand science and scientists far better, so we can spot when the wool is being pulled over our eyes. Some of his examples are absolutely great, too. Definitely something for a science teacher to think about if they're prepared to go off-piste with the curriculum...
"Should be a mandatory school science book"
What can I say : excellent, fascinating, eye-opening, well narrated.
Ben Goldacre is a bit of a hero as far as I'm concerned, and this book would teach school children more about how to think scientifically and rationally than a tonne of physics and chemistry textbooks.
"Everyone should read this, for fun AND for facts!"
This is one of the best books I've read on audible!
the topic is important, well researched, written up perfectly. You will never look at science in the media or the market place the same ever again.
The book is also funny. I mean laugh out loud funny! It is written with such dripping sarcasm, and that sarcasm is delivered by the narrator PERFECTLY.
"Enlightening and entertaining"
The author explains how science works and evenhandedly and brilliantly exposes many who profit from scamming people through bad science, from alternative medicine quacks to big pharma advertisement excesses and from bad science reporting in the media to fake scientists. I wonder how much money and lives would be saved if everybody on this planet read Bad Science.
"A superb, witty, insightful and irreverant book."
I loved this book. So many myths are debunked by the author that it is astounding! The science parts of the book, i.e. the scientific process and principles of population statistics, I found easy to understand. The narrator's tone is, I have to admit, a peculiar one and may take some getting used to. This aside, this is a must have book if you want to listen to a forensic and ferocious disembowelment of pseudo-science and its shady practitioners. I particularly loved the section on homoeopathy with the author ripping through the nonsense with gusto. Excellent. Buy this!
"Interesting topic, annoying narration"
Ben Goldacre exposes many of the slights of hand used in the health & nutrition industry covering the obviously ridiculous, such as homeopathy, to the more believable, such as fish oil supplements. The content of the book was very interesting but I did find the narration started to grate after a while.
"More journalism than science"
Started and finished well but lost its way in the middle. The condescending nature of this book has been noted by other reviewers and, in my opinion, is down to the contempt the author has for some of his bad science 'targets'. Contempt clouds one's scientific judgement and means you don't consider both sides of the argument. I have the same issue with Richard Dawkins' God Delusion where his palpable contempt for creationists makes him lose focus and start to make basic scientific errors (a problem he doesn't have with, for example, The Selfish Gene). This book includes chapters on homeopathy and the placebo effect. If you want a scientific, rather than journalistic, treatment of these topics then try 13 Things That Don't Make Sense by Michael Brooks. Pharmaceutical companies come in for a bit of stick because they have a profit motive - just remember that if you don't have a public sector pension then it is the profits from big Pharma that are/will be paying for yours! I don't work for big Pharma but did work in the equally vilified (and poorly understood) oil industry! There is enough in this book worth listening to and I certainly don't regret buying it - it makes you think and, more importantly, it makes you question. The author makes a great point of following the scientific method - see if you can spot where he deviates from his own mantra.
"Must read if you care about medical treatment"
After reading this book, you will fully understand how science can establish what medical treatments work, how medical trials should be carried out (in detail) and what problems we have with current legislation and practices. Goldacre proves his quality as an author by making these issues and topics easy to follow without requiring any prior knowledge. In fact, in most parts, he communicates this with a great sense of humour, which makes it an easy read. This book is educational, thorough and although very detailed, never boring.
If you have any opinions or interest in how decisions are made on the suitability of medical treatments, you must get this audiobook.
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