There is an abundance of misinformation about science and medicine floating around in the world. Unfortunately, much of this is deliberate.

For nothing more than a profit motive, big corporations distort or obfuscate data about medicine, pharmacology, nutrition, climate science, and ecology.

For political motives, ideologues distort or obfuscate data about a great many things, such as tobacco, petroleum based energy, evolutionary theory, and climate science.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be in position to verify the claims they hear.

Fortunately, many people who are honest and knowledgeable about science and medicine have a desire to help.

56 Responses to “How To Spot Bad Science”

  1. @EruptingMolars No la! What I mean was raw score 8 to get into VJ’s science stream!

  2. “Time is the most fundamental common denominator between our existence and that of everything else, it’s the yardstick by which we measure nearly every aspect of our lives, directly or indirectly, yet its nature remains one of the greatest mysteries of science. Last year, we devoured BBC’s excellent What Is Time? and today we turn to seven essential books that explore the grand question on a deeper, more multidimensional level, spanning everything from quantum physics to philosophy to

  3. cristek bovach says:

    this is one of the reasons terran is OP at higher gaming levels
    a zerg player has 0 chance at pulling something like this off given their units
    terran is just too cost efficient

  4. bynowick javanh says:

    Sir, you have a great way of presenting your words. However, the atheists will not turn around cristians with logical reasoning. Religion is simply a manifestation of the human architecture. The story that all humans are born in moral debt to a god is as old as the first religion an can be found in the smallest religions from the Amazone to the Himalaya. Just leave cristians be as long as they intrude on your life.

  5. arright ili says:

    tweeted that the reasons Maths & Science are taught in BM because she bet whole Sarawak Sabah wants it that way.

  6. suck aichoert says:

    No, not everyone does, but everyone would be living for over 100 years in that case, this worlds resources would not handle the mass amount of human life. They do it because its a choice they made, they do it because they get paid, they also seek the massive reward at the end. In the future if everyone lived for 100+years the strains on housing would be immense and it would literally turn into a concrete jungle, having fun would mean driving for many hours to get to where you want.

  7. svm-bnrspo tine says:

    The song for me says that it matter what religious people believe, as long as it works for them and makes them happy… and science fails in that aspect to answer ALL questions. Religion does, and as far as believers and concerned, its correct too. Hence moves through all

  8. Fraudulent Inaccurate results? Blind faith? There has never been a greater scientific scandal that man made global warming. That is THE scientific scandal of my generation and the 21rst century.

  9. Brilliant!! I quoted you on C+D website re: Homeopathy the other day too!! Bad Science is like my bible! lol

  10. butte gassethave says:

    Psychiatry, psychology and cognitive neuroscience are inextricably linked. Most psychiatric research organisations like NARSAD have them all working together. done other where I explain why psychology and neuropharamacolgy for mental illness are a fraud too.

    I understand your argument and I have done a video if neuroscience was only involved in REAL disease like stroke, alzheimers and parkinsons etc. I did explain this at the

  11. kathainer yasand says:

    Bret Stephens does not mind looking like an idiot. Today, he published a column in the Wall Street Journal that is full of snark and devoid of thought, ill considered, misleading, moronic and in the end, embarrassing. It is a classic case of irresponsible journalism. Someone sent me the link and I swear, I checked twice while reading the piece to see if I had landing on I can’t believe the Wall Street Journal published this. I think it would have been impossible for a paper like the WSJ to publish a piece like this had main stream media not gotten rid of most of their science editors and writers. Even if the WSJ would put this sloppy thinking, moronic opinion and bad science in a column, other newspapers, or should I say, the science staff at those newspapers, would have their way with it. Stephens drek is not quoting here; I’ll just tell you that it is the worst piece of Climate Change Denialism that I’ve seen in a long time other than the crap that kooks send to…

  12. I’m sure that science isn’t the only profession that gets misrepresented in popular media. I’m sure lawyers and police cringe when watching crime dramas, and soldiers are when watching war movies. Leaving aside shows like CSI, I think that scientist’s main media foil is almost by definition science fiction. On the one hand, I’ve learned to mostly ignore exaggeration, over-simplification, and implausible technology – I’ve come to understand (though it was hard) that these things are sometimes necessary to drive a plot, and that it’s unrealistic to expect that the writers are all trained scientists. On the other hand, there’s no excuse for getting things blatantly wrong. Today’s rant is inspired by the Fox television show Terra Nova, which is a somewhat campy show about a distopian future in which humanity has so polluted the atmosphere that it’s impossible to go outside without a breathing apparatus. Luckily, they found a back in time, and most of the show takes…

  13. fox bedika says:

    Is there any way to get a UV dye that would make the glowstick make things glow in the dark?

  14. OH MY GAAAAWD!!! I bought individuals songs of this mix on itunes but i always comeback here to listen to this mix(at least 200 times!!!) And now , I just downloaded it with this great!!!!!

  15. patomtoin- says:

    Wait…really? I know that either. Haha. L is voyeuristic! Wow, I learned a new word…from Misa…

    Oh my God, I learned a new word from MISA. What has the world come to?

  16. english he said to read a book lol so im reading a book and math I have next semester so I only have to study science

  17. troning marisonari says:

    Science has never been about finding the “truth”. It is about observation and developing an understanding of the natural universe. It is about making sense of what can be examined, observed, explored and tested. It is about developing working models that can be put to practical use in the development of technology to increase our changes of survival, improve our lives, and to our understanding of life, the universe, and everything.

  18. All science should be done the Cave Johnson way! We would have had iPads in the late 80s! The cell phone in the 60s! And tumors the whole time!

  19. stanajahid says:

    Stronger is a very inaccurate statement Most virus/bacterial that become immune to a given anti virus or antibiotic is usually weaker more survivable but weaker.
    By weaker I mean less likely to in fact kill you.

  20. Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks: Have you ever wondered how one day the media can that …

  21. I know a parody and all but dinosaurs the ancestors of mammals, only of birds. The our line diverged with them about 300 Million Years ago while tyrannosaurs only existed 67 to 65.5 million years ago. Therefore if the first perverse was a dinosaur clause to the tyrannosaurs, it means that mammals would share this trait only because of convergent evolution.

  22. You know what I want to try in space, just for fun not sure is this would be applicable to anything in real life). I want to put a bubble of water in space and place a goldfish inside it, I wonder if that fish can now survive in that bubble of water. If not then I bet it would look awesome. 😀

  23. zedlow hado says:

    “Hi Lisa, just to clarify. My very first sentence was “Admittedly, we need peer-review (of some form)”
    I never suggested doing away with peer-review – for all the obvious problems you mention. I’m just against the idea that “a bottleneck” in addition to, or on top of peer-review is needed, or that peer-review is good because it can *act* as a bottleneck (separate to it’s role in preventing bad science from being published). Ideally peer-review would be quick but rigorous, and so need not necessarily act too much like a bottleneck (provided an ample supply of willing reviewers). That was my intended point basically.
    I totally agree with many of your points. Indeed I have some experience of trying to correct published mistakes that got past peer-review (in a high-status journal no less!) so I completely agree with your point that it’s a lot of and takes time (~6 months in my case!)…”

  24. Incremental privatization of the NHS using misleading “facts” and figures. “Then we have choice: “95% want more choice over their healthcare”. The source given is the British Social Attitudes Survey. Interestingly, the government has just announced that it’s going to abolish the British Social Attitudes Survey. The data was collected in 2007, and if you download it you’ll see they didn’t ask about “more choice”.”

  25. The Press Complaints Commission has resolved eleven complaints against bad science and health coverage in recent weeks, but advocates of accuracy face a Sisyphean task without reform So far this year the Press Complaints Commission has resolved eleven complaints against bad science and health coverage in the national press. Of those, seven involved the Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday. They range from the serious to the daft: 23rd February – The Daily Mail’s belief that a super-volcano is going to blow up Germany (an event that could severely depress house prices in the Home Counties) clashes with reality and loses, forcing the to be removed. 17th February – The Daily Telegraph retract a number of inaccurate claims about accuracy from a hatchet job on the Met Office, burning fields of irony meters in the process. 15th February – The Daily Mail amend an claiming “that eating cake could lead to excess hair,” noting helpfully for their readers that, “the claim under…

  26. qvisommena lamotock says:

    Take home message for you all; America, we eat too much food! Only eat what you need to keep this body going. Food is not everything; we are not animals. Food or not, Death will still grab ahold of this body one day. As humans, we were meant for so much more. Ok, take care all. And as for this Randi guy, I do not listen to him. He is not as rational as many of you think he is.

  27. today is a good day, however if I get bad science grades I will be in a bad mood for the rest of it

  28. with the sharks on Wednesday, March 21 from 6:30 to 10:00 pm, with an unforgettable evening at the Arizona Science Center.

  29. yosh fazien says:

    Technically I can write about whatever I want at Guardian Science, but when I do there’s a chorus of protest “it’s not science!” Too cramped

  30. holmere daubler says:

    Bad Science – when Money wins over Ethics Monsanto genetically engineered seeds & Chemicals Cause Neurological Problems throughout the world

  31. heim bening says:

    Yes, we’re watching Bill Nye the Science Guy and learning about chemical reactions right now in our college dorm room.

  32. babcock sarantangl says:

    Babs Ellen appears to have a “thing” for Bad Science – my brother (a geneticist) has been keeping tabs for a while

  33. rabjaaf says:

    How do you know If your brother is gay? He watches the Science channel instead of the hockey game in

  34. rennek pede says:

    Just finished Bad Science by Best and most book I’ve read in a long time. Much us hacks can learn from it.

  35. delolowrig mzahn says:

    If you’re alone in the office bathroom and you singing Adele, someone will walk in just as you get to the loudest line.

  36. ker-fle marmondorn says:

    Space tourism. I honestly think that even if the vehicle burned up on re-entry I’d die happy having seen the

  37. marrazizio says:

    haha nice one. im like real busy this weekend so yea im trying to do my science but its so hard and boring :/

  38. mahan kara says:

    We are officially 50% funded for out first year of funding and 1st projects – help us get the rest of the way!

  39. noralen salliadevi says:

    Herbal Detox! Essential Detox Tips to Keep You Healthy This Cold and Flu Season 13 retirees killed at Mexican detox center: police –

  40. mura wewell says:

    A poll on whether a new nuclear power station should be built at Hinkley Point provides a masterclass in manipulation I like nerdy days out: like going to the nuclear bunker at Kelvedon Hatch with its sign on the A128 in Essex saying “secret nuclear bunker this way”. Last month, eight of us commissioned a boat to get on to a rotting manmade second world war in the middle of the ocean through Project Redsand, the restoration scheme. A couple of weeks earlier, Mrs Bad Science and I travelled to Dungeness, where a toytown narrow-gauge railway takes you to the base of a magnificent, enormous and terrifying nuclear power station. I tell you this, because I should declare an interest. I quite like nuclear power stations, not just because they’re clever, or even because I regretfully concede they might be one of our least bad options for power. I secretly like nuclear power stations because they remind me, in the way nostalgia makes us pine for things we disliked at the time, of a…

  41. poda srid says:

    Or . . . OR . . . a show called Good Science/Bad Science in which and Todd Akin answer the same science questions!

  42. forschurke says:

    awh I know me and ben were talking about it yesterday! I can say it in science tho! x x

  43. oralfi prinicone says:

    Have any bloggers considered using Kindle’s Public Notes as a way of critiquing bad science in books, (eg Naomi Wolf’s …

  44. I don’t think he was gurning, he’d just eaten a bag of crisps, they get in your teeth, that’s bad science, he was wankered though

  45. koerkey hopp says:

    & science deduces that we need love to be psychologically healthy, so love is actually included within the phrase ‘ …

  46. does it mean u have a bad science program if u did what we r doing now in 7th grade

  47. mence shren says:

    Professor Gyorgy Gergely has been elected to be a member of the Academia Europaea.

    It is our great honor to announce that the European Research Council recently elected Professor Gyorgy Gergely (Professor and Co-Director of the Cognitive Development Center) to be a member of the Academia Europaea as of October 15, 2012. 



    For more information please visit:

    Academia Europaea

    Doctor of Philosophy in Cognitive Science

  48. voliz hillemende says:

    “no in class kathy”
    “oh my god ..”
    “I’m not god, but I am your science teacher.” go away mr. schlangen

  49. How can you tell if a policy is working? Run a trial | Ben Goldacre | Comment is free | The Guardian –

  50. I am not anti-religion & welcome the debate, but it should be a good debate, not based on bad science & logical fallacies as proof of a win.

  51. aller dzierrowld says:

    Every time walking in a winter wonderland is on I singing the science version and I wrote in 8th grade.

  52. On Fast and Furious, Obama invokes
    executive privilege.
    s that? – Christian Science Monitor – Join Talk at:

  53. Veterinary science was relatively new in 1865, but Ezra Cornell was determined to offer it as a course of study, and Cornell became the first in the nation to award a university degree in veterinary medicine. Cornell’s veterinary college is consistently rated the best in the country, conducting groundbreaking research into disease in animals, monitoring livestock and wildlife health for New York State, and collaborating with Weill Cornell Medical College to translate its work to meet human needs.

  54. uhn furney says:

    Libs want to save the planet by going green based on bad science but won’t save the country from bankruptcy based on math. –

  55. asarta brundragon says:

    This is to inform all candidates who in Remedial Science programmes at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai that, the institution has released the 2012/2013 remedial science admission list of successful candidates.
    The released Remedial Science admission listhas been fully upload online at the Universityadmission checking for students view..
    The released Remedial Science admission listis in document format, (PDF) candidates are required to use a computer device that can read PDF file to view the admission list.
    By this notice, all concern candidates are to CLICK the lick below to view the 2012/2013 Remedial Science Admission List…ADMISSION%20LIST.pdf

  56. – Ben Goldacre Medical trials are not always conducted to test the drug – sometimes it’s to test the market Here’s a fun new way to science from the pages of Annals of Internal Medicine this week. Let’s imagine you want to know if your new epilepsy drug, already shown to be effective with strict trials in rarefied ideal patients, also works in routine clinical use. Epilepsy is common. The obvious, practical option is to choose a few centres as research clinics, and recruit from those. That will keep c… show all text posted by friends: (2) The cynical charade of ‘seeding’ drug trials | Ben Goldacre 02.07.2011 03.49.29 The cynical charade of ‘seeding’ drug trials | Ben Goldacre 02.07.2011 02.13.51 The true purpose of a drug trial is not always obvious | Ben Goldacre 01.07.2011 13.56.36 Sorry brainslip the journal in my column is…

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