The Promotion of Counterknowledge

March 24, 2009 at 6:09 pm (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Bloggers, Briffa, Conspiracy, Dangerously Wrong, government, Media, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Religion, Supplements, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

[BPSDB] Those promoting Counterknowledge are winning. Possibly because the public actually don’t really care that much*. (Damien Thompson’s book Counterknowledge is available from local libraries in my area, yet I am the first person in the 14 months since it has been in the library catalogue to borrow it.) It is also possible that Counterknowledge is spreading at least partly because people with a measure of influence in society are among those who promote it. Members of the British royal family, politicians, the mainstream media, celebrities, Alternative Medicine practitioners posing as authority figures, members of churches, and even universities have helped to promote Counterknowledge. Not to mention maverick scientists such as Andrew Wakefield. Those with less authority are playing an important part too, though. For example, full-time conspiracy theorists such as the owner of the whale.to website are disseminating bullshit that is reproduced on forums such as What Doctors Don’t Tell You, or JABS. 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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