Ben Goldacre: Battling Bad Science

By Grant Jacobs 01/10/2011

Having seen a run of posts on various ’bad science’ on–that’s us!–and being wildly short on free time –free time-what is that??–let me offer readers Britain’s Ben Goldacre giving a TED lecture, Battling Bad Science. Ben is the author of the well-known Bad Science blog, and writes the Bad Science column at The Guardian.

The talk includes many examples: red wine drinking and cancer risk, fish oil and ‘brain power’, how data can be rigged, how spot data is missing in action, and much more. Some time is devoted to companies withholding the full set of trial data. He’s got a good line in humour, too. My only negative thought is that I wish he would slow down!

PS: If you’re looking to read Anna Sandiford’s latest articles–do, they’re excellent reading–try her blog’s main page. Currently the pages showing one post per page aren’t doing their thing. We’ve seen this one before at sciblogs, but I’m guessing it won’t be fixed until after the weekend – hence the tip. For those that don’t know Anna, she’s our resident forensic scientist, not-quite-ex-geologist and author of Expert Witness.

PPS: I ought to apologise for the lack of articles of late. I’m buried in a sea of code… (Programming code, that is.) The waters ought to part* some time in the up-coming week. Hopefully.

* Metaphorically speaking, of course!

(Updated to add tags.)