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Bad Science Audiobook

Bad Science

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Publisher's Summary

We are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes misleading information - until now.

Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dubious science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases, and missed opportunities of our time. He also shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.

©2008 Ben Goldacre (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (756 )
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4.2 (394 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marcus Cape TownSouth Africa 26/03/2010
    Marcus Cape TownSouth Africa 26/03/2010 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Making science truly entertaining"

    Ben Goldacre has the rare gift of making things that the media will tell you are boring seem fascinatingly interesting. Bad Science is filled with the clear-minded, witty writing that makes him such a success on the pages of the guardian... and on top of the book being really entertaining, it is hugely educational. Goldacre dismantles everything from antioxidant and fish oil nonsense to the evils of big pharma and shows up Patrick Holford for the quack he is. He does all this without malace and with clear and undisputable evidence. The book is a triumph of the mind in an age of ignorance. If it wasn't for some slightly too smug narration, it would have been frighteningly close to the perfect listen.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P London, United Kingdom 16/03/2011
    P London, United Kingdom 16/03/2011 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get this book."

    It will change the way you look at the world.
    Fantastic pace and very entertaining.

    PJ

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russ Scarborough, United Kingdom 16/04/2010
    Russ Scarborough, United Kingdom 16/04/2010 Member Since 2012
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    "A bit of an eye opener"

    In an easy to understand style that never talks down to the reader, Ben Goldacre pokes an big stick into some of the organisations and characters that shape how science is understood outside academic circles. From debunking the use of scientific sounding names in marketing ("now with madeupnameium to make you look younger") to disecting some of the more dubious characters that pollute our media this book analyses the methods used to show how they are as far removed from real science as it is possible to be.

    I would challenge any reader not to be horrified by the way in which the MMR scandal was prolonged and fanned by the media, in spite of mounting evidence being presented to show that there was no provable link with autism. And then, noting when this book was written, predicting how the media would then turn on Andrew Wakefield when he was placed before the GMC without ever considering the role they played in whole shameful episode.

    This is a great book that opened my eyes to many of the practices that companies and individuals use to make themselves wealthy without ever showing if their product/service/diet etc is effective. Goldacre also delves into the power of placebo and how convenitional medicine if failing to exploit it.

    Fantastic listen.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Harrogate, United Kingdom 23/04/2011
    George Harrogate, United Kingdom 23/04/2011 Member Since 2016
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    "Best (non-fiction?) book I ever read"

    I had to write a review for this book, it's just brilliant. Follow @bengoldacre on Twitter, or read his blog/Guardian articles at badscience.co.uk, and you'll see how realistic and cutting he can be, while warm and funny at the same time. He's a voice of sanity in a world of media (clich?d but quite frankly apt) 'gone mad' - especially around science, a.k.a., evidence. No, I didn't think that until I read the book, though I did have my suspicions from seeing various tabloid headlines!

    It hasn't just been made fascinating reading by the content about warped newspaper stories, the laughable doctrine of homeopathy, and the health scares that needn't have existed and have actually eroded the nation's health. It also teaches some bare-bones science lessons which somehow I never got my head round in school (probably because we were trying to reproduce effects that were already certain!) about conducting fair experiments, allowing for and expecting bias, and considering other factors.

    This has applied to so much of my life! I think differently and am much more willing to try new things - it's actually made more sense than the cognitive-behavioural therapy books I've read to combat my depression. And as a computer programmer, I've realised I'm constantly creating mini experiments all the time, finding out if my new addition to the code does what I hoped, what else could have made it go wrong, and so on.

    Can't recommend this book enough.

    Also recommend The Tiger That Wasn't for a similarly accessible and wildly successful attack on the stupid ways we're given statistics, and how they're more often than not interpreted by journalists entirely wrongly. You don't have to be a statistician to make sense of numbers, you just need a basic grip on the subject if you ever want to learn about the world!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monkfishkev UK 07/08/2010
    Monkfishkev UK 07/08/2010 Member Since 2015
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    "Well written but repetitive"

    This book was very factual and most enjoyable in places. The narration was excellent and really captured the authors' passion, which could be misconstrued as arrogant, even pompous. I however found Goldacre's sarcastic delivery of information quite humorous. I would have given four stars but quite a substantial amount of material was repeated unnecessarily and the book could have easily been shorter. Overall, I definitely recommend but it's not a book that I would listen to again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chelle :o)) uk 29/07/2010
    Chelle :o)) uk 29/07/2010 Member Since 2016

    mddm

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    "VERY INTERESTING AND ENLIGHTNING"

    Although I understand the view that the author can be seen as condescending I did not find this. I thought he apologised too often for that to be the case. He certainly can get caught up with individuals who have severely crossed the line, it is amusing to hear a doctor be so angry about it, but at the same time it is hugely helpful to understand just how very much some individuals have crossed the line (and shockingly, they truly have) at our expense (I personally have paid, so I have 1st hand experience). This audiobook is well worth time and spend, but do remember to engage your sense of humour at the same time as you engage your brain, you will then enjoy this book all the more.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 19/04/2010 Member Since 2007
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    "Much enjoyed"

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and felt my eyes opened to some specific scandals in the health-food and pharmaceutical industries. My only criticisms are that the topics/chapters are a little repetitive in parts, and that the narration can be somewhat patronising in tone (though I notice some of the reviews on Amazon make this comment about the book itself, so maybe the narrator is being true to the text?!). Anyway, I'd certainly recommend this.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Bailey United Kingdom 07/04/2013
    K. Bailey United Kingdom 07/04/2013 Member Since 2016
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    "Shocking"

    This book really scared me. It opens your eyes to the potential misleading that is inherently baked into the science we believe. Ben goldacre divides opinion - some see him as a anti new age cynic who bangs on about proof and pooh poohs a whole sector of natural health care. I actually found him balanced in his views he is equally sceptical about pharmaceutical industry as he is about alternative health care. Whilst this book is primarily aimed at alternative health care his other book bad pharma really does shine a light on the mistakes through to criminal corruption inherent in the system. His view is proper evidence and transparency with proper regulation is the only way to move forward. I agree and i think Ben would suggest you read the book and make up your own mind.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne 29/07/2015
    Joanne 29/07/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "Arrogant delivery detracts from book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really. I found the author's pompous and sarcastic tone really irritating. It was a real distraction from what could have been a interesting listen. I had to stop listening after a few chapters. I couldn't bear it any longer.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I think the book would have had more impact had the author written the book "straight", rather than trying (and really failing) to be funny. Instead, he comes across as being up his own bottom.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Rupert Farley's delivery was dreadful. He merely added to the general air of cynicism and arrogance.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't bother.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Corstjens 05/06/2013
    Judy Corstjens 05/06/2013 Member Since 2016

    Judith Corstjens Author of: Xtensity, Why 5% of Dieters Succeed; Storewars: The Battle for Mindspace and Shelfspace; Strategic Advertising

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    "Great content, rather polemical style"

    This book isn't really about science, but about its misrepresentation. It is particularly topical as the NHS is currently mopping up the damage caused by the MMR scandal and scam of 2002-2005. Was it all done just to sell newspapers? Basically, yes, even though children may (this year) die as a direct result.

    I got a bit tired of Ben Goldacre's polemical style, and overuse of adjectives such as exquisite and spectacular. The problem is that Mr Goldacre does not really understand rhetoric. He criticises humanities people for not understanding science (bravo) but he could do with understanding the rules of rhetoric better himself. He actually goes out of his way to alienate his scientific readers (by assuming that his reader knows less about e.g. statistics than himself, which will not always be true) as well as non-scientific readers who are bound to find him unsympathetic. Who did he want to appeal to? The first rule of rhetoric is to get your audience to identify with you, to feel that you are one of them. No one wants to identify with Mr Superior and Mr Outraged. You could blame the narrator for the constant and fatiguing tone of moral outrage, but I think he is genuinely reflecting the tone of Dr Goldacre's writing. Lighten up, laugh, you will communicate better!

    So, Mrs Picky Moaner, why did you give the book five stars? It is a cracking tour of a fascinating subject, there is much thoughtful content, I was gripped throughout, and I didn't want to put anyone off audioing this illuminating tome.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
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  • Amy Allais
    05/07/10
    Overall
    "Great book, better in hard copy"

    This fascinating and persuasive book will give you loads of fodder for heated dinner party conversations. But I recommend that you buy the hard copy rather, for two reasons:
    - the delivery of the narrator is excessively vehement, overbearing and forceful which doesn't match the tone the book is written in, and makes for painful listening, and
    - it's the kind of book that you want to refer back to to verify a statistic or clarify a point, which is one of the rare occasions when I'd rather have a paper book than an audio book.

    Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. It's just that I'll be buying several hard copies for myself and for general dishing out.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    Ashfield, Australia
    08/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great content, engaging narration"
    What made the experience of listening to Bad Science the most enjoyable?

    Dr. Goldacre leads us through a masterful educational experience that should vastly improve the scientific media literacy of any layperson listening to this book. More importantly, he blends this grave and potentially depressing content with a sense of humour that makes it not just bearable, but delightful!


    What about Rupert Farley’s performance did you like?

    I'm glad I wasn't dissuaded from listening to this by the reviews describing the narration as terrible, because I found the delivery delightful, and a perfect match for Goldacre's charming sarcastic tone.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I seldom have so much fun listening to accounts of terrible betrayals of the public trust.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Donald
    Cheltenham, Australia
    16/05/10
    Overall
    "Good content, painful narrator"

    I'm a skeptic at heart, so I enjoy this book. And I do think that as long as I wasn't a died-in-the-wool believer of some sort, but not necessarily a skeptic, I would get a lot out of this. It's absolutely amazing when you realize how much rubbish is successfully peddled these days and the more books we have with a solid basis in science instead of the next quick-fix diet, longevity potion, cancer cure etc, the better it is IMO. Only thing that I find quite trying listening to this is the narrator. Whatever sample they make available, have a listen and think if you can endure this for several hours... If I was more neutral about him, I'd definitely give this book a 4 or 5 star.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Callum
    01/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uncomfortable and Enlightening"

    A book to make the world better, at least if everyone read/listened to it. I felt that maybe Rupert Farley made Dr Goldacre sound more condescending than he needed to. Other than that his narration grew on me. The book itself was (insofar as I'm any judge) excellent, impassioned, important, and thoroughly-researched. I've certainly had to re-think some of what I believed to be true. I do think that Dr Goldacre overstates the ability of the layperson to interpret studies, particularly given the length at which he describes the analytic land mines one can step on in trying. Nevertheless, in my opinion a great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jan
    04/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eyeopener"

    Ben Goldacre draws us into his world of science. His quest is to have you, the reader, able to identify bad science. A fine introduction to scientific method. Uses relevant examples, like the MMR vaccine scare. Rupert Farley has a pleasant narrating style. I really enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roland
    Italy
    08/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "important topic, chaotic drama, worst narrator"
    What did you like best about Bad Science? What did you like least?

    The topic is important and the autor competent. The narrator wants to act, but he is the worst actor: tries to mock voices and exagerates the tones.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a comprehensive black book of the health and beauty industry. Not that it shows every single case but it rehears most of the mechanisms


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rupert Farley?

    anyone


    Did Bad Science inspire you to do anything?

    I will eat more vegetables and fruits and no vitamine pilles, because its the only real thing


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Loxton, Australia
    12/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably better in print"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bad Science to be better than the print version?

    I suspect the print version would be much better as the narration style is poorly suited to the material.


    What three words best describe Rupert Farley’s performance?

    Wrong for this


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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