Original broadcast date: March 29, 2009
If there is one quote that epitomizes the plethora of ideas expressed in physician and Guardian columnist Dr. Ben Goldacre’s book bad science, it is this from paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science, Steven Jay Gould: “ When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown”.
I have talked at length about this book and how well it encapsulates the problems we face today with respect to science reporting, how clinical studies are conducted, the vested interests and machinations that promote treatments, cures, and modes of teaching and thinking. No industry, university or political party is immune to the lack of critical appraisal of claims and research that have sown the seeds of manipulation.
- Dr. Ben Goldacre, physician, award-winning writer, and broadcaster, who has written the weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian since 2003 and is author of the book of the same name.