Freedom of Speech and the Internet

December 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm (Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Freedom of Speech and the Internet


According to Boing Boing and Wikiquote, it was John Gilmore who once said that: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Silencing Critics: Legal Chill

November 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm (Legal Chill) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A company called Rodial have threatened a doctor with a lawsuit after she raised doubts about a “boob job cream”. While Rodial’s lawyers letter states that Rodial would have provided information on “clinical assessment and product ingredients” on request, they failed to do so when contacted by Ben Goldacre. Read the rest of this entry »

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Science Journalism

September 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm (Media) (, , , , , )

The recent debate between Dr Ben Goldacre and Lord Drayson (video currently available here) has led to this blog post. I feel that media coverage of scientific research could be a lot better than it currently is. I also have one or two suggestions as to how it could be improved. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Daily Fail Science Special – A Perfect Formula and… Computers May Cause Autism

February 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm (Bad Science, Media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

There are two stories in the Daily Fail website today – this one gives the formula for the perfect pancake and this one gives us a “person has opinion” story. 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 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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[UPDATED 7/2/09] MMR Scaremongering From Jeni Barnett: LBC Use Legal Chill Tactics. Ugh.

February 5, 2009 at 10:55 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Dangerously Wrong) (, , , , , )

[I’ve updated this post to include more links to blogs covering this, and to add information on the serious complications of measles, mumps, and rubella. There’s also a link to Jeni’s ‘response’ to the Bad Scientists.]

I was going to post some ramblings on the dangers of homophily, but I’ve just found out that LBC have contacted Ben Goldacre (or had their lawyers contact him) to complain about a segment of Jeni’s show that appeared on the Bad Science blog along with (brief) commentary from Ben. I think this is a bad move – LBC should really be apologising to the nation for allowing Jeni to pollute the airwaves with ignorant tosh about vaccines, a subject she seems to know very little about. 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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The Ever-Accurate Mainstream Media on Detox

January 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm (Bad Science, Media) (, , )

The Daily Telegraph have lost it. If you consider that they had it to lose, that is*. They have written a piece on “10 ways to detox in your garden” that refers to Ben Goldacre as being part of Sense about Science and states that Goldacre “says the liver will detox your body naturally with good lifelong diet and exercise habits. And the garden is the ideal place to start – and sustain – your new regime.” For the record, Goldacre has pointed out on his miniblog that he has “nothing to do with SaS. They’re alright, but I’m nowt to do with them.” It’s unclear where the journalist got this idea from, but fact-checking is clearly a thing of the past in the British Mainstream Media. 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:, and 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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