[ExI] The world of bullshit
pharos at gmail.com
Fri Dec 17 23:06:37 UTC 2010
What a catalogue!
The year in nonsense
by Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 17 December 2010
It’s been a marvellous year for bullshit. We saw quantitative evidence
showing that drug adverts aimed at doctors are routinely factually
inaccurate, while pharmaceutical company ghostwriters were the secret
hands behind letters to the Times, and a whole series of academic
papers. We saw more drug companies and even regulators withholding
evidence from doctors and patients that a drug was dangerous – the
most important and neglected ethical issue in modern medicine.
Bias is everywhere. Academic papers from people who get money from
tobacco companies are vastly more likely to say that cigarettes
prevent Alzheimer’s, and we saw the first good quantitative evidence
describing how academics routinely mislead readers about their
negative results in academic papers, by spinning them as positive.
Dodgy facts aren’t the only reason clever people believe stupid
things, as demonstrated by a gale of research on irrationality.
Superstitious rituals really do improve performance.
And on, and on, and on...........
More information about the extropy-chat