Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

badsciI love this book.  It’s not just that I agree with most of what Ben Goldacre says (I do, but that’s beside the point), it’s that this is a testament to the importance of informed, evidence based argument when dealing with hot-topic scientific issues that oft-times get distorted by media hyperbole.  Goldacre breaks down the basis of scientific method and review and reconstructs it, chapter by chapter, using pertinent examples of how the modern media and practitioners of alternative medicine warp the facts to suit their own ends.  It should be compulsory reading for anyone starting a PhD or embarking on a career in any form of medical science.  If there’s one take home message, it’s that you don’t have to agree with Dr Goldacre but you do have to be informed by scientific evidence if you actually disagree.  It’s well written and a quick read and should be essential reading for anyone who has an interest in their own health and well being and a desire to be empowered to make evidence-based decisions on their own health care.  Scientific fact is not just for scientists and this is a work that goes a long way towards making it seem more accessible to us all.  It’s a sobering thought that any one of us is probably as qualified to comment on hot health topics as the majority of the journalists who report health issues.  Liking Ben Goldacre and his writing style (which can be abrasive and blunt) is not a pre-requisite to getting the most out of this book.  Sometimes blunt is better.

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