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Full of spleen, this will be a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the world of Bad Science. When Ben Goldacre saw someone on daytime TV dipping her feet in an 'Aqua Detox' footbath, releasing her toxins into the water, 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.'
Ben Goldacre is the author of the Bad Science column in the Guardian. Bad Science will be 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.Bad Science 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. It will be satirical and amusing – exposing the ridiculous – but it will also provide the reader with the facts they need. Full of spleen, this will be a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the world of Bad Science.
Ben Goldacre studied Medicine at Oxford. He is 31 and now works full time for the NHS as an academic and hospital doctor, seeing patients and explaining difficult ideas to difficult people. He is the author of the 'Bad Science' column in the Guardian. 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. Ben also appears regularly on TV and radio commenting on cosmetics, adverts, scares and alternative therapies.
"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)
"Thousands of books are enjoyable; many are enlightening; only a very few will ever rate as necessary to social health. This is one of them."
"It is an important book and if you were to pick up just one non-fiction book this year you'd do well to make it this one"
– Benjamin Beasley-Murray, Daily Mail
"Goldacre's prose always reads well"
"Duck the health quacks with a brilliant new book that debunks medical nonsense."
"The book's light-hearted tone is a help to the reader nervous of science and statistics! This is a fundamentally good book."
– Druin Burch, TLS
"The most important book you'll read this year, and quite possibly the funniest."
– Charlie Brooker
"One of the essential reads of the year so far."
– New Scientist
"There aren't many out and out good eggs in British journalism but Ben Goldacre is one of them [...] Fight back. You could start by reading this book."
"[A] hugely entertaining book [...] This isn't just an essential primer for anyone who has ever felt uneasy about news coverish of faddish scientific "breakthroughs", health scares and "studies have shown" stories – it should be on the National Curriculum."
– Time Out
"A fine lesson in how to skewer the enemies of reason and the peddlers of cant and half-truths."
"Bad Science introduces the basic scientific principles to help everyone to become an effective bullshit detector."
– Sir Iain Chalmers, Founder of the Cochrane Library
"This book reawakened my love of science."
– BBC Focus (Peer Review)
"Read this book."
– Sunday Business Post
"It is an important book and if you were to pick up just one non-fiction book this year, you'd do well to make it this one."
– Daily Mail