Full of spleen, this will be a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the world of Bad Science. How do we know if a treatment works, or if something causes cancer? Can the claims of homeopaths ever be as true - or as interesting as the improbable research into the placebo effect? Who created the MMR hoax? Do journalists understand science? Why do we seek scientific explanations for social, personal and political problems? Are alternative therapists and the pharmaceutical companies really so different, or do they just use the same old tricks to sell different types of pill? We are obsessed with our health. And yet - from the media's 'world-expert microbiologist' with a mail-order PhD in his garden shed laboratory, via multiple health scares and miracle cures, to the million pound trial that Durham Council now denies ever existed - we are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes even misleading information. Until now.Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dodgy science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases and missed opportunities of our time, but he also goes further: out of the bullshit, he shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.
Shortlisted for BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2009.
Ben Goldacre is a writer, broadcaster and medical doctor from the UK who is best known for his 'Bad Science' column in the Guardian newspaper, examining the claims of scaremongering journalists, quack health products, pseudoscientific cosmetics adverts, and evil multinational pharmaceutical corporations, as well as wider themes such as the medicalisation of everyday life and the psychology of irrational beliefs. He has a background in medicine and academia, trained in Oxford and London, works full time for the NHS, appears regularly on radio and TV, and has written for publications as diverse as Time Out, the British Medical Journal, New Statesman and The Lancet, as well as writing and presenting 'The Rise Of The Lifestyle Nutritionists' and 'The Power of Placebo' in 2008 on BBC Radio 4.