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Bad Science

Bad Science
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429967099
Pages: 304
Year: 2010-10-12
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Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren't medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what's, well, just more bullshit? Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he's not here just to tell you what's wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You're about to feel a whole lot better.

Bad Science

Bad Science
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 0771035764
Pages: 304
Year: 2010-10-12
View: 329
Read: 635

The informative and witty expose of the "bad science" we are all subjected to, called "one of the essential reads of the year" by New Scientist. We are obsessed with our health. And yet — from the media's "world-expert microbiologist" with a mail-order Ph.D. in his garden shed laboratory, and via multiple health scares and miracle cures — we are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory, and sometimes even misleading information. Until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the questionable 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. From the Hardcover edition.

Bad Science, Ben Goldacre, 2008

Bad Science, Ben Goldacre, 2008
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Bukupedia
Pages: 196
Year: 2008-05-18
View: 156
Read: 944

AND ANOTHER THING could go on. As I write this in May 2008, the media are still pushing a celebrity-endorsed ‘miracle cure’ (and I quote) for dyslexia, invented by a millionaire paint entrepreneur, despite the abysmal evidence to support it, and despite customers being at risk of simply losing their money anyway, because the company seems to be going into administration; the newspapers are filled with an amazing story about a finger that ‘grew back’ through the use of special sciencey ‘pixie dust’ (I quote again), although the claim has been around for three years, unpublished in any academic journal, and severed fingertips grow back by themselves anyway; more ‘hidden data’ scandals are exposed from the vaults of big pharma every month; quacks and cranks continue to parade themselves on television quoting fantastical studies to universal approbation; and there will always be new scares, because they sell so very well, and they make journalists feel alive. To anyone who feels their ideas have been challenged by this book, or who has been made angry by it—to the people who feature in it, I suppose—I would say this: You win. You really do. I would hope there might be room for you to reconsider, to change your stance in the light of what might be new information (as I will happily do, if there is ever an opportunity to update this book). But you will not need to, because, as we both know, you collectively have almost full-spectrum dominance: your own slots in every newspaper and magazine in Britain, and front-page coverage for your scare stories. You affect outsider swagger, bizarrely, from the sofas of daytime television. Your ideas— bogus though they may be—have immense superficial plausibility, they can be expressed rapidly, they are endlessly repeated, and they are believed by enough people for you to make very comfortable livings, and to have enormous cultural influence. You win. It’s not the spectacular individual stories that are the problem, so much as the constant daily grind of stupid little ones. This will not end, and so I will now abuse my position by telling you, very briefly, exactly what I think is wrong, and some of what can be done to fix it. The process of obtaining and interpreting evidence isn’t taught in schools, nor are the basics of evidence-based medicine and epidemiology, yet these are obviously the scientific issues which are most on people’s minds. This is not idle speculation. You will remember that this book began by noticing that there has never been an exhibit on evidence-based medicine in London’s Science Museum. A five-decade survey of post-war science coverage in the UK by the same institution shows—and this is officially the last piece of data in the book—that in the 1950s science reporting was about engineering and inventions, but by the 1990s everything had changed. Science coverage now tends to come from the world of medicine, and the stories are of what will kill you, or save you. Perhaps it is narcissism, or fear, but the science of health is important to people, and at the very time when we need it the most, our ability to think around the issue is being energetically distorted by the media, corporate lobbies and, frankly, cranks. Without anybody noticing, bullshit has become an extremely important public health issue, and for reasons that go far beyond the obvious hysteria around immediate harms: the odd measles tragedy, or a homeopath’s unnecessary malaria case. Doctors today are keen—as it said in our medical school notes—to work ‘collaboratively with the patient towards an optimum health outcome’. They discuss evidence with their patients, so that they can make their own decisions about treatments. I don’t generally talk or write about being a doctor—it’s mawkish and tedious, and I’ve no desire to preach from authority—but working in the NHS you meet patients from every conceivable walk of life, in huge numbers, discussing some of the most important issues in their lives. This has consistently taught me one thing: people aren’t stupid. Anybody can understand anything, as long as it is clearly explained—but more than that, if they are sufficiently interested. What determines an audience’s understanding is not so much scientific knowledge, but motivation: patients who are ill, with an important decision to make about treatment, can be very motivated indeed. But journalists and miracle-cure merchants sabotage this process of shared decision-making, diligently, brick by brick, making lengthy and bogus criticisms of the process of systematic review (because they don’t like the findings of just one), extrapolating from lab-dish data, misrepresenting the sense and value of trials, carefully and collectively undermining the nation’s understanding of the very notion of what it means for there to be evidence for an activity. In this regard they are, to my mind, guilty of an unforgivable crime. You’ll notice, I hope, that I’m more interested in the cultural impact of nonsense—the medicalisation of everyday life, the undermining of sense—and in general I blame systems more than particular people. While I do go through the background of some individuals, this is largely to illustrate the extent to which they have been misrepresented by the media, who are so desperate to present their favoured authority figures as somehow mainstream. I am not surprised that there are individual entrepreneurs, but I am unimpressed that the media carry their assertions as true. I am not surprised that there are people with odd ideas about medicine, or that they sell those ideas. But I am spectacularly, supremely, incandescently unimpressed when a university starts to offer BSc science courses in them. I do not blame individual journalists (for the most part), but I do blame whole systems of editors, and the people who buy newspapers with values they profess to despise. Specifically, I do not blame Andrew Wakefield for the MMR scare (although he’s done things I hope I would not), and I find it—let’s be very clear once again—spectacularly distasteful that the media are now revving up to hold him singly responsible for their own crimes, in regard to that debacle. Similarly, while I could reel out a few stories of alternative therapists’ customers who’ve died unnecessarily, it seems to me that people who choose to see alternative therapists (except for nutrition therapists, who have worked very hard to confuse the public and to brand themselves as conventional evidence-based practitioners) make that choice with their eyes open, or at least only half closed. To me this is not a situation of businessmen exploiting the vulnerable, but is rather, as I seem to keep saying, a bit more complicated than that. We love this stuff, and we love it for some fascinating reasons, which we could ideally spend a lot more time thinking and talking about. Economists and doctors talk about ‘opportunity costs’, the things you could have done, but didn’t, because you were distracted by doing something less useful. To my mind, the greatest harm posed by the avalanche of nonsense we have seen in this book is best conceived of as the opportunity cost of bullshit’. We have somehow become collectively obsessed with these absurd, thinly evidenced individual tinkerings in diet, distracting us from simple healthy eating advice; but more than that, as we saw, distracting us from the other important lifestyle risk factors for ill health which cannot be sold, or commodified. Doctors, similarly, have been captivated by the commercial success of alternative therapists. They could learn from the best of the research into the placebo effect, and the meaning response in healing, and apply that to everyday clinical practice, augmenting treatments which are in themselves also effective: but instead, there is a fashion among huge numbers of them to indulge childish fantasies about magic pills, massages or needles. That is not forward-looking, or inclusive, and it does nothing about the untherapeutic nature of rushed consultations in decaying buildings. It also requires, frequently, that you lie to patients. ‘The true cost of something,’ as the Economist says, ‘is what you give up to get it.’ On a larger scale, many people are angry about the evils of the pharmaceutical industry, and nervous about the role of profit in healthcare; but these are formless and uncalibrated intuitions, so the valuable political energy that comes from this outrage is funnelled—wasted—through infantile issues like the miraculous properties of vitamin pills, or the evils of MMR. Just because big pharma can behave badly, that does not mean that sugar pills work better than placebo, nor does it mean that MMR causes autism. Whatever the wealthy pill peddlers try to tell you, with their brand-building conspiracy theories, big pharma isn’t afraid of the food supplement pill industry, it is the food supplement pill industry. Similarly, big pharma isn’t frightened for its profits because popular opinion turned against MMR: if they have any sense, these companies are relieved that the public is obsessed with MMR, and is thus distracted from the other far more complex and real issues connected with the pharmaceutical business and its inadequate regulation. To engage meaningfully in a political process of managing the evils of big pharma, we need to understand a little about the business of evidence: only then can we understand why transparency is so important in pharmaceutical research, for example, or the details of how it can be made to work, or concoct new and imaginative solutions. But the greatest opportunity cost comes, of course, in the media, which has failed science so spectacularly, getting stuff wrong, and dumbing down. No amount of training will ever improve the wildly inaccurate stories, because newspapers already have specialist health and science correspondents who understand science. Editors will always—cynically—sideline those people, and give stupid stories to generalists, for the simple reason that they want stupid stories. Science is beyond their intellectual horizon, so they assume you can just make it up anyway. In an era when mainstream media is in fear for its life, their claims to act as effective gatekeepers to information are somewhat undermined by the content of pretty much every column or blog entry I’ve ever written. To academics, and scientists of all shades, I would say this: you cannot ever possibly prevent newspapers from printing nonsense, but you can add your own sense into the mix. Email the features desk, ring the health desk (you can find the switchboard number on the letters page of any newspaper), and offer them a piece on something interesting from your field. They’ll turn you down. Try again. You can also toe the line by not writing stupid press releases (there are extensive guidelines for communicating with the media online), by being clear about what’s speculation in your discussions, by presenting risk data as ‘natural frequencies’, and so on. If you feel your work—or even your field—has been misrepresented, then complain: write to the editor, the journalist, the letters page, the readers’ editor, the PCC; put out a press release explaining why the story was stupid, get your press office to harrass the paper or TV station, use your title (it’s embarrassing how easy they are to impress), and offer to write them something yourself. The greatest problem of all is dumbing down. Everything in the media is robbed of any scientific meat, in a desperate bid to seduce an imaginary mass who aren’t interested. And why should they be? Meanwhile the nerds, the people who studied biochemistry but who now work in middle management at Woolworths, are neglected, unstimulated, abandoned. There are intelligent people out there who want to be pushed, to keep their knowledge and passion for science alive, and neglecting them comes at a serious cost to society. Institutions have failed in this regard. The indulgent and well-financed ‘public engagement with science’ community has been worse than useless, because it too is obsessed with taking the message to everyone, rarely offering stimulating content to the people who are already interested. Now you don’t need these people. Start a blog. Not everyone will care, but some will, and they will find your work. Unmediated access to niche expertise is the future, and you know, science isn’t hard—academics around the world explain hugely complicated ideas to ignorant eighteen-year-olds every September—it just requires motivation. I give you the CERN podcast, the Science in the City mp3 lecture series, blogs from profs, open access academic journal articles from PLOS, online video archives of popular lectures, the free editions of the Royal Statistical Society’s magazine Significance, and many more, all out there, waiting for you to join them. There’s no money in it, but you knew that when you started on this path. You will do it because you know that knowledge is beautiful, and because if only a hundred people share your passion, that is enough Guardian columnist Dr Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the bad science we’re fed by the worst of the hacks and the quacks! When Dr Ben Goldacre saw someone on daytime TV dipping her feet in an ‘Aqua Detox’ footbath, releasing her toxins into the water and turning it brown, he thought he’d try the same at home. ‘Like some kind of Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’, using his girlfriend’s Barbie doll, he gently passed an electrical current through the warm salt water. It turned brown. In his words: ‘before my very eyes, the world’s first Detox Barbie was sat, with her feet in a pool of brown sludge, purged of a weekend’s immorality.’ Dr Ben Goldacre is the author of the ‘Bad Science’ column in the Guardian and his book is about all the ‘bad science’ we are constantly bombarded with in the media and in advertising. At a time when science is used to prove everything and nothing, everyone has their own ‘bad science’ moments— from the useless pie-chart on the back of cereal packets to the use of the word ‘visibly’ in cosmetics ads.This book will help people to quantify their instincts—that a lot of the so-called ‘science’ which appears in the media and in advertising is just wrong or misleading. Satirical and amusing—and unafraid to expose the ridiculous—it provides the reader with the facts they need to differentiate the good from the bad. Full of spleen, this is a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the world of ‘bad science’. L INTRODUCTION et me tell you how bad things have become. Children are routinely being taught—by their own teachers, in thousands of British state schools—that if they wiggle their head up and down it will increase blood flow to the frontal lobes, thus improving concentration; that rubbing their fingers together in a special sciencey way will improve ‘energy flow’ through the body; that there is no water in processed food; and that holding water on their tongue will hydrate the brain directly through the roof of the mouth, all as part of a special exercise programme called ‘Brain Gym’. We will devote some time to these beliefs and, more importantly, the buffoons in our education system who endorse them. But this book is not a collection of trivial absurdities. It follows a natural crescendo, from the foolishness of quacks, via the credence they are given in the mainstream media, through the tricks of the £30 billion food supplements industry, the evils of the £300 billion pharmaceuticals industry, the tragedy of science reporting, and on to cases where people have wound up in prison, derided, or dead, simply through the poor understanding of statistics and evidence that pervades our society. At the time of C.P. Snow’s famous lecture on the ‘Two Cultures’ of science and the humanities half a century ago, arts graduates simply ignored us. Today, scientists and doctors find themselves outnumbered and outgunned by vast armies of individuals who feel entitled to pass judgement on matters of evidence—an admirable aspiration—without troubling themselves to obtain a basic understanding of the issues. At school you were taught about chemicals in test tubes, equations to describe motion, and maybe something on photosynthesis—about which more later—but in all likelihood you were taught nothing about death, risk, statistics, and the science of what will kill or cure you. The hole in our culture is gaping: evidence-based medicine, the ultimate applied science, contains some of the cleverest ideas from die past two centuries, it has saved millions of lives, but there has never once been a single exhibit on the subject in London’s Science Museum. This is not for a lack of interest. We are obsessed with health—half of all science stories in the media are medical—and are repeatedly bombarded with sciencey-sounding claims and stories. But as you will see, we get our information from the very people who have repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be incapable of reading, interpreting and bearing reliable witness to the scientific evidence. Before we get started, let me map out the territory. Firsdy, we will look at what it means to do an experiment, to see the results with your own eyes, and judge whether they fit with a given theory, or whether an alternative is more compelling. You may find these early steps childish and patronising—the examples are certainly refreshingly absurd—but they have all been promoted credulously and with great authority in the mainstream media. We will look at the attraction of sciencey-sounding stories about our bodies, and the confusion they can cause. Then we will move on to homeopathy, not because it’s important or dangerous—it’s not—but because it is the perfect model for teaching evidence-based medicine: homeopathy pills are, after all, empty little sugar pills which seem to work, and so they embody everything you need to know about ‘fair tests’ of a treatment, and how we can be misled into thinking that any intervention is more effective than it really is. You will learn all there is to know about how to do a trial properly, and how to spot a bad one. Hiding in the background is the placebo effect, probably the most fascinating and misunderstood aspect of human healing, which goes far beyond a mere sugar pill: it is counterintuitive, it is strange, it is the true story of mind-body healing, and it is far more interesting than any made-up nonsense about therapeutic quantum energy patterns. We will review the evidence on its power, and you will draw your own conclusions. Then we move on to the bigger fish. Nutritionists are alternative therapists, but have somehow managed to brand themselves as men and women of science. Their errors are much more interesting than those of the homeopaths, because they have a grain of real science to them, and that makes them not only more interesting, but also more dangerous, because the real threat from cranks is not that their customers might die—there is the odd case, although it seems crass to harp on about them—but that they systematically undermine the public’s understanding of the very nature of evidence. We will see the rhetorical sleights of hand and amateurish errors that have led to you being repeatedly misled about food and nutrition, and how this new industry acts as a distraction from the genuine lifestyle risk factors for ill health, as well as its more subtle but equally alarming impact on the way we see ourselves and our bodies, specifically in the widespread move to medicalise social and political problems, to conceive of them in a reductionist, biomedical framework, and peddle commodifiable solutions, particularly in the form of pills and faddish diets. I will show you evidence that a vanguard of startling wrongness is entering British universities, alongside genuine academic research into nutrition. This is also the section where you will find the nation’s favourite doctor, Gillian McKeith, PhD. Then we apply these same tools to proper medicine, and see the tricks used by the pharmaceutical industry to pull the wool over the eyes of doctors and patients. Next we will examine how the media promote the public misunderstanding of science, their singleminded passion for pointless non-stories, and their basic misunderstandings of statistics and evidence, which illustrate the very core of why we do science: to prevent ourselves from being misled by our own atomised experiences and prejudices. Finally, in the part of the book I find most worrying, we will see how people in positions of great power, who should know better, still commit basic errors, with grave consequences; and we will see how the media’s cynical distortion of evidence in two specific health scares reached dangerous and frankly grotesque extremes. It’s your job to notice, as we go, how incredibly prevalent this stuff is, but also to think what you might do about it. You cannot reason people out of positions they didn’t reason themselves into. But by the end of this book you’ll have the tools to win—or at least understand—any argument you choose to initiate, whether it’s on miracle cures, MMR, the evils of big pharma, the likelihood of a given vegetable preventing cancer, the dumbing down of science reporting, dubious health scares, the merits of anecdotal evidence, the relationship between body and mind, the science of irrationality, the medicalisation of everyday life, and more. You’ll have seen the evidence behind some very popular deceptions, but along the way you’ll also have picked up everything useful there is to know about research, levels of evidence, bias, statistics (relax), the history of science, anti-science movements and quackery, as well as falling over just some of the amazing stories that the natural sciences can tell us about the world along the way. It won’t be even slightly difficult, because this is the only science lesson where I can guarantee that the people making the stupid mistakes won’t be you. And if, by the end, you reckon you might still disagree with me, then I offer you this: you’ll still be wrong, but you’ll be wrong with a lot more panache and flair than you could possibly manage right now. Ben Goldacre July 2008

Bad science

Bad science
Author: Gary Taubes
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Pages: 503
Year: 1993
View: 364
Read: 880

A science journalist brings to life one of the greatest scientific frauds of our times with the story of the two obscure researchers who claimed to have discovered a clean, no-fuss method for harnessing the energy of a hydrogen bomb. 20,000 first printing.

Bad Pharma

Bad Pharma
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0865478066
Pages: 480
Year: 2014-04-01
View: 706
Read: 194

Argues that doctors are deliberately misinformed by profit-seeking pharmaceutical companies that casually withhold information about drug efficacy and side effects, explaining the process of pharmaceutical data manipulation and its global consequences. By the best-selling author of Bad Science.

Bad Science

Bad Science
Author: Linda Zimmermann
ISBN: 0979900247
Pages: 224
Year: 2011-01
View: 1173
Read: 404

Winner of the 2011 Silver Medal for Humor in the Independent Publishers Awards! "Bad Science" takes a humorous look at bloodletting, alchemy, quack devices, the worship of meteorites, faked data, and secret testing on people. The history of science has been fraught with persecution, fraud,and ignorance on a massive scale, but that doesn't mean we can't laugh about it!

Mad in America

Mad in America
Author: Robert Whitaker
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786723793
Pages: 368
Year: 2001-12-14
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Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world's poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker's most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective than the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects. A haunting, deeply compassionate book—now revised with a new introduction—Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.

The Sober Truth

The Sober Truth
Author: Lance Dodes, Zachary Dodes
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807033162
Pages: 192
Year: 2014-03-25
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An exposé of Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-step programs, and the rehab industry—and how a failed addiction-treatment model came to dominate America. AA has become so infused in our society that it is practically synonymous with addiction recovery. Yet the evidence shows that AA has only a 5–10 percent success rate—hardly better than no treatment at all. Despite this, doctors, employers, and judges regularly refer addicted people to treatment programs and rehab facilities based on the 12-step model. In The Sober Truth, acclaimed addiction specialist Dr. Lance Dodes exposes the deeply flawed science that the 12-step industry has used to support its programs. Dr. Dodes analyzes dozens of studies to reveal a startling pattern of errors, misjudgments, and biases. He also pores over the research to highlight the best peer-reviewed studies available and discovers that they reach a grim consensus on the program’s overall success. But The Sober Truth is more than a book about addiction. It is also a book about science and how and why AA and rehab became so popular, despite the discouraging data. Dr. Dodes explores the entire story of AA’s rise, from its origins in early fundamentalist religious and mystical beliefs to its present-day place of privilege in politics and media. The Sober Truth includes true stories from Dr. Dodes’s thirty-five years of clinical practice, as well as firsthand accounts submitted by addicts through an open invitation on the Psychology Today website. These stories vividly reveal the experience of walking the steps and attending some of the nation’s most famous rehabilitation centers. The Sober Truth builds a powerful response to the monopoly of the 12-step program and explodes the myth that these programs offer an acceptable or universal solution to the deeply personal problem of addiction. This book offers new and actionable information for addicts, their families, and medical providers, and lays out better ways to understand addiction for those seeking a more effective and compassionate approach to this treatable problem. From the Hardcover edition.

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Fourth Estate
ISBN: 0007505140
Pages: 496
Year: 2015-10-08
View: 286
Read: 1262

The very best journalism from one of Britain's most admired and outspoken science writers, author of the bestselling Bad Science and Bad Pharma. In Bad Science, Ben Goldacre hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science. In Bad Pharma, he put the $600 billion global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. Now the pick of the journalism by one of our wittiiest, most indignant and most fearless commentators on the worlds of medicine and science is collected in one volume.

Autism's False Prophets

Autism's False Prophets
Author: Paul A. Offit
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231517963
Pages: 328
Year: 2008-09-18
View: 443
Read: 468

A London researcher was the first to assert that the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine known as MMR caused autism in children. Following this "discovery," a handful of parents declared that a mercury-containing preservative in several vaccines was responsible for the disease. If mercury caused autism, they reasoned, eliminating it from a child's system should treat the disorder. Consequently, a number of untested alternative therapies arose, and, most tragically, in one such treatment, a doctor injected a five-year-old autistic boy with a chemical in an effort to cleanse him of mercury, which stopped his heart instead. Children with autism have been placed on stringent diets, subjected to high-temperature saunas, bathed in magnetic clay, asked to swallow digestive enzymes and activated charcoal, and injected with various combinations of vitamins, minerals, and acids. Instead of helping, these therapies can hurt those who are most vulnerable, and particularly in the case of autism, they undermine childhood vaccination programs that have saved millions of lives. An overwhelming body of scientific evidence clearly shows that childhood vaccines are safe and does not cause autism. Yet widespread fear of vaccines on the part of parents persists. In this book, Paul A. Offit, a national expert on vaccines, challenges the modern-day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public and exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them. Offit recounts the history of autism research and the exploitation of this tragic condition by advocates and zealots. He considers the manipulation of science in the popular media and the courtroom, and he explores why society is susceptible to the bad science and risky therapies put forward by many antivaccination activists.

Science Myths Unmasked

Science Myths Unmasked
Author: David Isaac Rudel
ISBN: 1935776029
Pages: 278
Year: 2011
View: 898
Read: 1250

In Science Myths Unmasked Volume 2, David Rudel continues to expose common errors in science education. This sequel takes the discussion into the realm of physical science, rectifying commonly taught misconceptions about topics covered in chemistry and physics courses, including combustion, simple machines, states of matter, phase changes, electricity, and light. Rudel's accessible style makes Science Myths Unmasked a worthwhile read for life-long learners and a great gift for bright high school students interested in all the myths they have been taught by inaccurate textbooks. State-adopted textbooks perpetrate (and perpetuate) a shocking degree of misinformation, largely because they are less interested in conveying accurate science than in training students to bubble in the right oval on multiple-choice, standardized tests. Rudel provides thorough background for each topic, empowering science teachers to sculpt the material to match the needs of their students. Numerous illustrations and suggested experiments complement the coverage, portraying precisely why many standard explanations are false and how we can better fulfill our obligation to provide genuine science to middle school and high school students.

Angry Chef

Angry Chef
Author: Anthony Warner
ISBN: 1786073420
Pages: 336
Year: 2018
View: 306
Read: 646

Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience, and Just Plain Bunk

Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience, and Just Plain Bunk
Author: Peter Daempfle
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 144221726X
Pages: 264
Year: 2013
View: 998
Read: 1172

We are constantly bombarded with breaking scientific news in the media, but we are almost never provided with enough information to assess the truth of these claims. This book teaches readers how to think like a scientist to question claims like these more critically.

Climate Confusion

Climate Confusion
Author: Roy W. Spencer
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 1594033455
Pages: 191
Year: 2010-01-01
View: 756
Read: 160

The current frenzy over global warming has galvanized the public and cost taxpayers billons of dollars in federal expenditures for climate research. It has spawned Hollywood blockbusters and inspired major political movements. It has given a higher calling to celebrities and built a lucrative industry for scores of eager scientists. In short, ending climate change has become a national crusade. And yet, despite this dominant and sprawling campaign, the facts behind global warming remain as confounding as ever. In Climate Confusion, distinguished climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer observes that our obsession with global warming has only clouded the issue. Forsaking blindingly technical statistics and doomsday scenarios, Dr. Spencer explains in simple terms how the climate system really works, why man’s role in global warming is more myth than science, and how the global warming hype has corrupted Washington and the scientific community. The reasons, Spencer explains, are numerous: biases in governmental funding of scientific research, our misconceptions about science and basic economics, even our religious beliefs and worldviews. From Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio, the climate change industry has given a platform to leading figures from all walks of life, as pandering politicians, demagogues and biased scientists forge a self-interested movement whose proposed policy initiatives could ultimately devastate the economies of those developing countries they purport to aid. Climate Confusion is a much needed wake up call for all of us on planet earth. Dr. Spencer’s clear-eyed approach, combined with his sharp wit and intellect, brings transparency and levity to the issue of global warming, as he takes on wrong-headed attitudes and misguided beliefs that have led to our state of panic. Climate Confusion lifts the shroud of mystery that has hovered here for far too long and offers an end to this frenzy of misinformation in our lives.

Blood on Their Hands

Blood on Their Hands
Author: Eric Weinberg, Donna Shaw
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813576237
Pages: 304
Year: 2017-09-15
View: 878
Read: 1320

A few short years after HIV first entered the world blood supply in the late 1970s and early 1980s, over half the hemophiliacs in the United States were infected with the virus. But this was far more than just an unforeseeable public health disaster. Negligent doctors, government regulators, and Big Pharma all had a hand in this devastating epidemic. Blood on Their Hands is an inspiring, firsthand account of the legal battles fought on behalf of hemophiliacs who were unwittingly infected with tainted blood. As part of the team behind the key class action litigation filed by the infected, young New Jersey lawyer Eric Weinberg was faced with a daunting task: to prove the negligence of a powerful, well-connected global industry worth billions. Weinberg and journalist Donna Shaw tell the dramatic story of how idealistic attorneys and their heroic, mortally-ill clients fought to achieve justice and prevent further infections. A stunning exposé of one of the American medical system’s most shameful debacles, Blood on Their Hands is a rousing reminder that, through perseverance, the victims of corporate greed can sometimes achieve great victory.