Media Reporting of Research: Consistently Poor

April 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm (Bad Science, Media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

In fact, I think that the only thing that is consistent about the mainstream media’s reporting of research (particularly research that relates to health) is that it is poor. Supplements are, alternately, life-savers and… deadly cancer-causing killer pills. We all drink too much – but then again red wine is good for us. The articles tend to be misleading, inaccurate or distorted whether they are pro- or anti-vitamins (or red wine and other forms of alcohol, or whatever other example you wish to choose). Read the rest of this entry »

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The “Baffled Boffins” Narrative

February 12, 2009 at 9:48 pm (Bad Science, Media) (, , , , )

Recently, I wrote about a Daily Fail story (here – Scientists Red-Faced), in which the Fail reported that scientists were “red-faced as they admit they are baffled why people blush”. This was just one story depicting scientists in caricature. Ben Goldacre writes Read the rest of this entry »

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MMR Round-up [UPDATED. Again.]

February 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Recently, MMR seems to have been quite a hot topic. Ben Goldacre of the badscience.net blog wrote about Jeni Barnett’s LBC broadcast (which contained an incredible amount of misinformation). As have many other bloggers – most (or perhaps all) of whom are listed at Holford Watch. Holford Watch also have a post up listing some rebuttals to Jeni Barnett’s canards. Meanwhile, Sensibly Common has updated the graph of measles cases in the UK (the original is here) and the post including the updated graph ties in quite well with a news story on the BBC website Read the rest of this entry »

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My Bad Science Reading List

January 16, 2009 at 8:43 pm (Bad Science, Books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Well, first up are the Bad Science blogs. These people, in my opinion, are providing a public service in fighting against the ignorance and bullshit promoted by anti-vaccinationists, the mainstream media, and homeopaths with healer fantasies (among others). Issues as important as Aids in Africa and MMR vaccines in Britain are addressed by these bloggers. Then there are the books available online – from Trish Greenhalgh’s How to Read a Paper [free registration required] to Chalmers, Evans and Thornton’s Testing Treatments. [You can download this as a free PDF.] Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Unprecedented’ rise in measles

January 9, 2009 at 8:42 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The BBC has reported that “there were 1,217 cases of measles from January to November 2008, the highest figure for over a decade.” Report. The HPA press release is here and includes Read the rest of this entry »

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An Idea Relating To Dr John Briffa’s Current Favourite Homeopathy Study (Arnica “Effective”)

September 12, 2008 at 8:38 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Briffa, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy, Nutritionism, Remedies, Supplements, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I recently wrote about Dr John Briffa, making reference to his approving comments about a study into arnica as a post-operative aid. I had an idea that homeopathic treatments like arnica relied on the placebo effect and was surprised to see that Briffa’s post described arnica as “effective”. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Beginner’s Guide to Chiropractic

August 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Beginner's Guides, Belief, Chiropractic, Legal Chill, Woo) (, , , )

[BPSDB] What is chiropractic anyway? The Wiki page on Chiropractic is OK and gives details of the history, philosophy, regulation and effectiveness (or otherwise) of chiropractic. Highlights include these gems: Read the rest of this entry »

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More Legal Chill – from Spine Cracking Chiropractors

August 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Legal Chill, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Cool: badscience.net, holfordwatch.info and dcscience.net are all covering the latest woo legal chill. DC’s recent post Doctor Who? was an article he’d had published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Chiropractors naughtily using the appellation “Doctor”, there is a PDF of the NZMJ response here: classy, and I’ll quote one of my (and Holford Watch’s) favourite bits: “let’s hear your evidence not your legal muscle”. Something quite a few practitioners of Alternative Medicine should perhaps think about – legal chill and other threats.

This really is a tactic they deliberately use isn’t it? They can’t debate the evidence, so they bluster and threaten. Kudos to Professor Frizelle for an excellent response to yet more Altie bluster.

EDIT: more links – bone doctors, Norburyness, weak-minded, ignorant and superstitious.

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MMR Scare – Will We Learn From It?

July 25, 2008 at 8:57 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Big Pharma, government, Media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Measles is endemic, Wakefield is up before the GMC and the media are walking away nonchalantly, pretending they were never involved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr Georgiou on Homeopathy

January 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm (Bad Science, Bloggers, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy, Media) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Dr George J Georgiou, Ph.D, N.D., DSc (AM), Natural Medicine Practitioner is, apparently, a media star in Cyprus.  Read the rest of this entry »

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