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Publisher's Summary

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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  • Overall
  • Ian
  • 10-07-11

Not a fan

The subjects are interesting and well researched, but like some others I've found the tone off-putting. You do learn a fair amount and will probably find much of it strikes a nice balance between being informative, humorous and passionate.
I'm not entirely sure whether it's the narrator or the combination of narrator and material that annoys me, but I find myself getting as angry at the sweeping statements and condescending remarks as Ben Goldacre gets at the bad scientists. There's something about smug self-righteousness that makes me root for the other guys, even if - as in this case - they're mostly borderline lunatics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Clayshaw
  • 07-28-11

Shame can't rate the book and narrator separately

This is the only audible download I've had so far where I wish I'd read the book. The narrators constant tone of exasperation and sarcasm really started to grind after the first half of the download. However the content is very good and well written. The author does go into a lot of detail about the MMR jab and I was delighted to see someone put the record straight on this. I knew an awful lot about this topic before but still learned some more shocking facts.
My advice - buy the book in digital or paper form and add the sarcasm as you feel fit, not with every sentence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • matt
  • 07-18-10

Great book looking at distortions of science

Great book. I've been reading Dr. Ben Goldacre's Bad science bullitins for years. Here he puts it all together in an interesting, witty read. Learn how all sorts of vested interests and biases mean we never get a true look at science in the mainstream media.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Viv
  • 03-17-11

Bad rant

An interesting rant by the author on nutritional advisors etc. - but far too long and personalised. Whilst the arguments appeared valid they could have been made more succinctly and with less aggression. Range of 'sciences' were limited. The narration was good - but the arguments lost my attention.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Nickletickle
  • 12-10-14

Important but patronising

What did you like most about Bad Science?

Ignorance is not bliss and Ben Goldacre highlights that fact beautifully in this book.

His assertion of the importance of questioning our sources of information and challenging ourselves to be mindful and objective, as far as possible, is both apt and timely. We are bombarded from all sides by information, so never has it been more important to be able to distinguish the genuinely noteworthy from the lazily headline grabbing.

Any additional comments?

For a book which I agree with so much, it made me surprisingly angry at times. Whilst it is mainly a good point quite well made, it tends towards being patronising.

As both a Humanities graduate and a teacher (both of which come under rather extensive scrutiny in the book), I felt almost attacked. Yes, I have a BA and MA, but I also know my way around the Cambridge Book of Statistical Tables and SPSS (though not Stata, I admit). As a university graduate, I am more that passingly familar with critical thinking, analysis of sources and the evaluation of evidence. The notion that simply because I am not a Science graduate I could not possibly know/understand/care about these things is both offensive and contrary to the message of the book: anyone can understand this if they want to.

Dr Goldacre also invited teachers to join doctors in the world of evidence-based practice. It is appalling to think that he has clearly assumed that this is the case rather than actually asking a teacher. We do action research in our classrooms. We research which methods are appropriate and apply them. There are vast numbers of journals constantly publishing research on just that. We have studied questions around practice and are mindful of them, to suggest otherwise is simply false. Certainly, it is not the case that all teachers conduct research, but neither is it the case for all doctors.On a different note, I also disliked how much he implied, or in some cases flat out stated, that to disagree with him was to be wrong. I am a fan of nuance and discussion and this attitude kills it dead. Even if your overall point is correct, that doesn't mean it doesn't need refinement and as an academic, you should always be open to that.

There were a host of points that niggled, but overall, that does not detract from the importance of the book. Read it, listen to it, but as the book itself asks, do so with an objective, critical mind.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Cj Hubbard
  • 01-13-18

erm... its says a heading is optional

I did like this book. The content was good and I feel it's a book that most people would benefit from. My only criticism is that I feel it could have been half the length. Maybe it's written in a way because it almost expects readers to dip in and out over a long period, so it repeats points rather than have you flick back to catch up. Maybe it's written in defensively, to preempt litigation. Either way it is still good and recommended, just a bit of a slog at times.

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  • Mr Peter Pan
  • 01-11-18

Good contents, but presentation takes away from it

While I fully agree with the contents of what Ben Goldacre says, the lurid way in which it is written and read undermines the message to critically question claims rationally and scientifically. It’s a contradiction to use so much emotion to try to get people to use less emotion, and hence not the best way of making the case. While the author virulently attacks claims that certain things are scientifically or otherwise proven without evidence for it being provided, you can catch him on a few occasions in this book referring to facts being proven without citing the source of evidence. The narrator constantly uses accents when quoting people in a demeaning way. For example, when a German is quoted, the narrator pronounces the ‘the’ as ‘ze’. Obviously the German didn’t speak English when he made the statement, but German. So what happened is that the sentence was translated into English, only to then be read in a silly xenophobic German accent. Ironically Goldacre accuses Scottish Gillian McKeith of being a EU-phobic and implies this is typically Scottish, and at the same time used a silly Scottish accent mimicking her. Obviously by now we know that the English are actually the EU-phobes, while the Scottish are not. Goldacre’s reference to the Second World War when “we” fought the Germans (he can’t possibly be that old?) actually demonstrates this. All this sensationalist language, loaded with inflammatory confrontation, aimed to do exactly what he accuses others of - to sell his product, ie. his book, actually reduces his credibility. One gets the impression there is a very unhappy person here who is just ranting. That’s a shame because actually there are a lot of good observations in this book.

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  • Philipp Fehre
  • 11-29-17

little much ragging on the media but good content.

The author seems to forget half way through that he falls victim to confirmation bias when it comes to media stories. I wasn't expecting a book entirely on medicine given the title but interesting non the less (hint there is more science than pub med). Otherwise nice content and solid narration.

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  • sean kelly
  • 11-28-17

Great book but...

Great book and I really enjoyed it throughly.
My only issue was the audio issues throughout. Skipping and quality issues. Not knowing if I missed a sentence or section as a result.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-20-17

Excellent book

Explains many issues created by bad science. If you're considering not having your child vaccinated for MMR for one, you should read this book! Plenty more in there too but this one might just do your kid a favour.