I'd like to submit to Bad Science my teacher who gave us a handout which says that 'Water is best absorbed by the body when provided in frequent small amounts.' What I want to know is this. If I drink too much in one go, will it leak out off my arsehole instead? Thank you. Anton.— Ben Goldacre
The most professional Ben Goldacre quotes that will activate your inner potential
The placebo effect is one of the most fascinating things in the whole of medicine. It's not just about taking a pill, and your performance and your pain getting better. It's about our beliefs and expectations. It's about the cultural meaning of a treatment.
You are a placebo responder. Your body plays tricks on your mind. You cannot be trusted.
And if, by the end [of this book], you reckon you might still disagree with me, then I offer you this: you'll still be wrong, but you'll be wrong with a lot more panache and flair than you could possibly manage right now.
Science has authority not because of white coats or titles, but because of precision and transparency: you explain your theory, set out your evidence, and reference the studies that support your case.
If you put me in charge of the medical research budget, I would cancel all primary research, I would cancel all new trials, for just one year, and I would spend the money exclusively on making sure that we make the best possible use of the clinical evidence that we already have.
There is this peculiar blind spot in the culture of academic medicine around whether withholding trial results is research misconduct. People who work in any industry can reinforce each others' ideas about what is okay.
Just just because there are flaws in aircraft design that doesn't mean flying carpets exist.
Transparency and detail are everything in science.
I spend a lot of time talking to people who disagree with me - I would go so far as to say that it's my favourite leisure activity.
Homeopathy pills are, after all, empty little sugar pills which seem to work, and so they embody [..] how we can be misled into thinking that any intervention is more effective than it really is.
You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.
As it is a major component of blood, water is vital for transporting oxygen to the brain. Heaven forbid that your blood should dry out.
The plural of anecdotes is not data
I hope that you will be asked to participate in a trial at some stage in your disease
Most bloggers have no institutional credibility, and so they must build it, by linking transparently, and allowing you to easily double check their work. But more than anything, because linking sources is such an easy thing to do, and the motivations for avoiding links are so dubious, I've detected myself using a new rule of thumb: if you don't link to primary sources, I just don't trust you.
Positive findings are around twice as likely to be published as negative findings. This is a cancer at the core of evidence-based medicine.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.
These corporations run our culture, and they riddle it with bullshit.
Amazing things happen when you pull individual pieces of information together into larger linked datasets: meaning emerges, as you produce facts from figures.
Yes. I'm a doctor, an epidemiologist, and lots of my professional colleagues flip back and forth between industry and medical roles. I know them; they are not bad people. But it is possible for good people in bad systems to do things that inflict enormous harm.
Doctors and patients need as much data as possible to make an informed decision about what treatment is best.
In the past, [medicalization]has been portrayed as something that doctors inflict on a passive and un-suspecting world - an expansion of the Medical Empire. But in reality, it seems that these reductionist bio-medical stories can appeal to us all, because complex problems often have depressingly-complex causes, and the solutions can be taxing, and unsatisfactory.
Children can be disgusting, and often they can develop extraordinary talents, but I’m yet to meet any child who can stimulate his carotid arteries inside his ribcage.
Teaching needs an ecosystem that supports evidence-based practice.
It will need better systems to disseminate the results of research more widely, but also a better understanding of research, so that teachers can be critical consumers of evidence.
I agree, the world would be a better place if doctors were less enthusiastic about adopting very new drugs.
Data is the fabric of the modern world: just like we walk down pavements, so we trace routes through data, and build knowledge and products out of it.
There are many differences between medicine and teaching, but they have much in common. Both involve craft and personal expertise, learned through experience; but both can be informed by the experience of others.
Real science is all about critically appraising the evidence for somebody else's position.
[In science,] we only hear about the flukes and about the freaks.