Sunday, May 29, 2011
Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks - Ben Goldacre
"A fine lesson in how to skewer the enemies of reason and the peddlers of cant and half-truths."
British doctor Goldacre is funny and blunt as he bashes journalists, nutritionists, homeopaths, politicians, and pharmaceutical companies—his favorite targets. Many supposed experts, he writes, are actually people like Gillian McKeith, who recommends enemas for forehead pimples and whose PhD comes from a nonaccredited correspondence course. Goldacre also criticizes South Africa’s health minister, who turned down antiretroviral drugs for AIDS sufferers, instead advocating for raw garlic, lemons, beetroot, and potatoes. Weaving in medical history, he covers famous mistakes, such as Dr. Spock advising moms to put their babies to sleep on their bellies (now known to increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome) and Dr. Andrew Wakefield erroneously linking vaccines and autism (which led many parents to stop immunizing their kids). No coward, he takes former prime minister Tony Blair to task for refusing to say whether he had vaccinated his son. Amazon
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