Bad Science

Paperback edition released 02/04/2009

by Ben Goldacre

Popular Science Non-Fiction Books of the Month eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Bad Science

Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

Ben Goldacre targets medical charlatans, quacks, frauds and cons with great relish. His medical expertise allowing him to dissect each one proving the case against them, pulling no punches, his often witheringly funny comments make this an exhilarating read. Funny he can be but his serious purpose is to show how we are being deceived, with any luck giving readers the ammunition to spot future deceptions for themselves.


Comparison: Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst, Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All by Rose Shapiro


July 2009 Guest Editor Louise Wener on Bad Science by BEN GOLDACRE
A simple, witty debunking of the junk science that has taken root in our culture; from the myth of detoxing and homeopathic cure alls, to our fear of the MMR vaccine. Goldacre skillfully examines how the media whips us into a frenzy about non-existent bogeymen and makes us all the poorer as a consequence. At a time when we seem to be rejecting scientific fact and seeking solace in instant, gobbledygook solutions, it feels like vital stuff.

Sue Baker

Bad Science Synopsis

Shorlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

Longlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books

Guardian columnist Dr Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the bad science we’re fed by the worst of the hacks and the quacks…

When Dr Ben Goldacre saw someone on daytime TV dipping her feet in an 'Aqua Detox' footbath, releasing her toxins into the water and turning it brown, he thought he’d try the same at home. ‘Like some kind of Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’, using his girlfriend's Barbie doll, he gently passed an electrical current through the warm salt water. It turned brown. In his words: ‘before my very eyes, the world's first Detox Barbie was sat, with her feet in a pool of brown sludge, purged of a weekend’s immorality.’

Dr Ben Goldacre is the author of the ‘Bad Science’ column in the Guardian and his book is about all the ‘bad science’ we are constantly bombarded with in the media and in advertising. At a time when science is used to prove everything and nothing, everyone has their own ‘bad science’ moments – from the useless pie-chart on the back of cereal packets to the use of the word 'visibly' in cosmetics ads. This book will help people to quantify their instincts – that a lot of the so-called ‘science’ which appears in the media and in advertising is just wrong or misleading. Satirical and amusing – and unafraid to expose the ridiculous – it provides the reader with the facts they need to differentiate the good from the bad.

Full of spleen, this is a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the world of ‘bad science’.


About This Edition

ISBN: 9780007284870
Publication date: 2nd April 2009
Author: Ben Goldacre
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Primary Genre Popular Science

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Ben Goldacre Press Reviews

‘From an expert with a mail-order PhD to debunking the myths of homeopathy, Ben Goldacre talking the reader through some notable cases and shows how to you don’t need a science degree to spot “bad science” yourself.’ Independent (Book of the Year)

‘His book aims to teach us better, in the hope that one day we write less nonsense.’ Daily Telegraph (Book of the Year)

‘For sheer savagery, the illusion-destroying, joyous attack on the self-regarding, know-nothing orthodoxies of the modern middle classes, “Bad Science” can not be beaten. You’ll laugh your head off, then throw all those expensive health foods in the bin.’ Trevor Philips, Observer (Book of the Year)

‘Unmissable…laying about himself in a froth of entirely justified indignation, Goldacre slams the mountebanks and bullshitters who misuse science. Few escape: drug companies, self-styled nutritionists, deluded researchers and journalists all get thoroughly duffed up. It is enormously enjoyable.’ The Times (Book of the Year)

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780007284870
Publication date: 02/04/2009
Format: Paperback

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About Ben Goldacre

Dr Ben Goldacre is the author of the 'Bad Science' column in the 'Guardian' ? one of the most popular columns in the newspaper. During the past three years it has become one of the most popular columns in the paper, receiving hundreds of emails every week with tip-offs for stories. He studied Medicine at Oxford. He is 34 and now works full time for the NHS as an academic and hospital doctor, seeing patients and explaining difficult ideas to difficult people. Ben also appears regularly on TV and radio commenting on cosmetics, adverts, scares and alternative therapies.

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