‘Bad Science’ – partial index

Fed up of trying to find that bit you were reading the other day? So was I – so I started noting points that were of interest to me. If you are having the same trouble, why not try my incomplete, half-assed index of Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science book? If there’s anything you can’t find in the book or on this page then leave a comment and I will try to find it for you, and add it to my index. If Ben really was a Big Pharma stooge they’d have paid for an indexer for his book. Incidentally, genuine professional indexers can be found by visiting the Society of Indexers. Their webpage has a site index and I sometimes wonder if SOI members sit around slagging it off and complaining that they’d have done it better. I like to think they do. They’d probably weep if they came across my efforts here.

“Sharp scissors only mummy can use” – p14

Aids (and Patrick Holford) – pp162-164
(and Homeopathy) – p82
Antioxidants – pp99-111
Aqua Detox – See Detox
Autism – see MMR

Barbie Doll – see Detox.
(see also – Barbie and GI Joe p27)
Big Pharma – pp181-186
Blinding – see Fair Trials
Bogus Explanations – pp15-17
Brain Buttons – pp13-14
Brain Gym – pp13-20
Bullshitting – pp88-89

Cherry Picking – pp97-99
Chlorophyll – pp116-118
Cognitive Bias – pp225-238
Cosmetics – pp21-27
CV (and Patrick Holford) – pp173-174
(and Gillian McKeith) – pp123-125

Detox – pp2-12
Dunning, David – pp267-269
Durham – pp136-160

Ear Candles – see Detox
Education – see Brain Gym; Fish Oils for Schools. For Professor Patrick Holford see pp170-180
Equation stories – pp208-209
Equazen – pp136-160

Fish Oils For Schools – pp136-160
Foot pads – see Detox
Ford, Dave – pp136-160

Graham, Sylvester – p113

Hadacol – pp114-115
Hawthorne Effect – p139
Health Scares – pp261-314
Holford, Patrick – pp161-180
Homeopathy – pp28-62
(and dilution) – pp33-36;
(and Fair Trials) – pp36-54
Hopi Ear Candles – see Detox

In Vitro Studies – pp93-97

Kellogg, John Harvey – pp113-114
Kruger, Justin – pp267-269

Lab Bench Studies – see In Vitro
Le Blanc, Dudley J – see Hadacol

Malaria (Newsnight Sting) – pp84-85
McKeith, Gillian – pp112-135
Media – pp207-224. See also MMR
Meta Analysis – see Fair Trials
MMR – pp273-314
Moerman, Daniel – see pp66-67; pp80-81

Neuroscience – see Bogus Explanations
Nutritionists – pp86-111; pp112-135; pp161-180

Old Testament (first trial) – see Fair Trials

Pauling, Linus – pp97-99
Pentapeptides – see cosmetics
Placebo – pp63-68

Q-Link Pendant – pp175-176
Quesalid – p77

Randomization – see Fair Trials
Randomness – pp226-228
Regression to the mean – see Fair Trials; also pp228-229
Rituals – p11

Sports Illustrated Jinx – see Fair Trials
Sykes, Kathy – pp64-65

Thalidomide – pp269-271

Vaccines – see MMR
Van Straten, Michael – pp87-89; pp93-94
Vioxx – pp201-202

Wakefield, Andrew – see MMR
Water Pseudoscience – see Brain Gym


  1. Who edited Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science? « Nellie the Arts Grad said,

    […] The single greatest oversight is the lack of an index. I skimmed the book before settling down to read it and it was obvious that more stringent editing would have improved the book, highlighted some recurrent themes and strengthened the overall message: an index would have made the book easier to read and allowed the reader to locate relevant explanations. An index might also have helped the editor to spot the inconsistencies (of which, more later) that lodge in the reader’s eye like so many grains of sand. (A frustrated Bad Science blogger has posted a partial index to Bad Science.) […]

  2. jdc325 said,

    Haha, I’ve been referred to in the post trackbacked above as a “frustrated Bad Science blogger”. It’s true. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, but now it just looks like I’m a whinging old moaner. That’s also true, BTW.

    Found this link via the trackback too: Nice review.

  3. nellietag said,

    I didn’t mean ‘frustrated’ in a negative fashion so much as, well, frustrated by the difficulty of trying to locate something in a fairly lengthy book that lacks an index. Now, if it were a 20 page Ladybird Guide To with plenty of pictures, the lack of an index is acceptable but not otherwise.

    I couldn’t begin to comment on whether the “whinging old moaner” is a propos – but it was not my intention to imply that and I apologise if that is the way that it read.

  4. jdc325 said,

    Don’t worry – no offence was taken Nellie.

  5. jdc325 said,

    This site now has a more complete index available.

  6. LBC and Global Radio, Currently London’s Biggest Sulk? « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science said,

    […] from books so that other people don’t have to search around for them. See Gaylard, op cit, jdc and Oliolioli provide an index to Bad Science; NellieTAG provides a full list of references to […]

  7. Al the Tog said,

    The 2009 edition I’m reading has a 12-page index.

  8. jdc325 said,

    Cheers Al – out of interest, is it similar to the oliolioli version I link to in my above comment of January 11th?

  9. john fryer said,

    I doubt if Goldacre is a Big pHARMa chap. There are too many people on the net who just like to encourage anything bad for others or for the future generations.

    Is there anything on ASPARTAME in this book?

    The LADYBIRD books provide people with an amazing amount of knowledge. I tried to learn everything in several and found it was not an easy task.

    If Goldacre was up to LADYBIRD standards then I might think he was in with Big pHARMa.

    To be honest my take on GMO goes back to Watson and you would need full time interest for the past 60 years to half understand why Seralini is spot on with his NK603 GMO Monsanto maize harm to people for more than ten years in America and Europe.

    2 pages on thalidomide just about sums up the superficiality of this work without even reading what he says;

    I spent 10 years on just one organophosphate DIAZINON until it got banned only to find today 12 years later that it is back in use KILLING people.

    The problem today is people are so focussed they often see things from exactly the wrong end of the telescope.

    A recent article links lack of sleep to obesity.

    But seems ignorant that damaged kidneys cause obesity.

    But seems ignorant that GMO food damages kidneys (Seralini 2012 and back 60 years for others).

    But when at least one author has links to ILSI you begin to see why his focus is so minute and partial.

  10. Chris said,

    Mr. Fryer, it only took you four years to find this article? And yes, it is a good book, despite the lack of index. You might try reading it.

    By the way, I have found indexes in many other books to be a less than adequate. What I have started to do is check out the Amazon webpage for the book and if it is available use the “Search inside the book” feature.

  11. ChrisP said,

    john fryer seems to be lost in a time-warp.

  12. jdc325 said,

    There are a couple of other posts that John Fryer has commented on in the past. He seems to be a “hit and run” commenter.

    I’m not sure why he’s posting about Seralini and GMO here. Perhaps if he does come back he can enlighten me.

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