Bad Science

I read this back in March, and should have written my thoughts at the time as a lot has faded now! Still, I wanted to make the point that this book was a really excellent read — Ben Goldacre is talented at conveying his message in a clear and engaging way. As a scientist, I found it a really empowering read in terms of its messages about the importance of engaging with the media, not just switching off or giving up.

One of the impacts of the web on society is that information is much, much cheaper than it used to be: things that previously required a trip to the library, access to an encyclopedia or some other physical activity are now a quick Google search away. I feel this has yet to be reflected in the way we educate our children (at least in the UK): it’s essential that people are able to critically evaluate sources and say “What’s the background to this? Is it accurate? Why is it presented in this particular way?”

This book is one very nice way to engage in a bit of self-education on the topic. I think it’s an especially valuable read if you work in research, but frankly it’s useful to all of us as we encounter information, especially when figuring out how to deal with fact, opinion and advertising.

(Available on Amazon)

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