Tuesday, 11th MarchOn the hazards of significance testing. Part 1: the screening problem
This post is about why screening healthy people is generally a bad idea. It is the first in a series of posts on the hazards of statistics.
Sunday, 2nd MarchLeft Brain Right Brain
More Canary Party financial documents
Saturday, 1st MarchLeft Brain Right Brain
A cause célèbre for those claiming vaccines cause autism
Thursday, 27th FebruaryStuff And Nonsense
WHO TCM Strategy
The World Health Organisation has published this document: PDF. It’s their traditional medicine strategy for 2014-23. Here’s just one of the things that raised an eyebrow or two: Strategic actions for Member States: 1. Based on the greatest potential risks and/or benefits attributable to T&CM used in their country: a. monitor the ...
Friday, 21st FebruaryMajikthyse
The Myth of Big Pharma
Forty years ago this year (god, can it be so long?), I joined the pharmaceutical industry. Its reputation then was little better then than it is now, various companies having weathered scandals in the previous two decades. In the 1950s Pfizer was top UK company by a long way, on ...
Tuesday, 18th FebruaryLetting Off Steam
Did an Earthquake Create the Turin Shroud?
Last week I read a claim that the Turin Shroud could in fact date from the time of Christ and is not a medieval forgery. The reason for believing it to be a forgery is the fact that three independent tests have “concluded with 95% confidence that the shroud material ...
Thursday, 6th FebruaryDC's Improbable Science
Some pharmacological history: an exam from 1959
Last year, I was sent my answer paper for one of my final exams, taken in 1959. This has triggered a bout of shamelessly autobiographical nostalgia. The answer sheets that I wrote had been kept by one of my teachers at Leeds, Dr George Mogey. After he died in 2003, ...
Wednesday, 5th FebruaryDC's Improbable Science
La Trobe University (Melbourne) takes money to promote quackery
This post is the original version of a post by Michael Vagg. It was posted at the Conversation but taken down within hours, on legal advice. Sadly, the Conversation has a track record for pusillanimous behaviour of this sort. It took minutes before the cached version reappeared on freezepage.com. I’m ...
Wednesday, 29th JanuaryMajikthyse
Charities, Evidence and Vulnerable Minors
It’s about a year since Neon Roberts was famously spirited away by his mother to a holistic therapy refuge, in defiance of the courts, because she disagreed with the treatment options offered by his oncologist. As ever, it’s not a black and white case, and I have some sympathy with ...
Monday, 27th JanuaryLetting Off Steam
The Not So Clear Cut Link Between Mouthwashing and Heart Attacks
According to the Mail on Sunday, mouthwashes are a major health hazard. I’m not convinced. The item opens by saying: Using mouthwash is a ‘disaster’ for health, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, scientists are warning. Sounds pretty bad. Anybody reading beyond that scary first paragraph will learn ...
Saturday, 25th JanuaryLeft Brain Right Brain
Comment on “Potential Impact of DSM-5 Criteria on Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Estimates”
Thursday, 23rd January
Comment on: Wrong About Vaccine Safety: A Review of Andrew Wakefield’s “Callous Disregard”
Wednesday, 22nd January
A vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study and, guess what, vaccinated kids do better on tests
Mayer Eisenstein files for bankruptcy…again
Monday, 20th January
Blue Monday is churnalism. Again.
Can we just drop “tsunami” from the autism discussion?
Thursday, 16th January
Jenny’s McCarthy’s vaccine narrative called into question
Why you should ignore altmetrics and other bibliometric nightmares
This discussion seemed to be of sufficient general interest that we submitted is as a feature to eLife, because this journal is one of the best steps into the future of scientific publishing. Sadly the features editor thought that " too much of the article is taken up with detailed ...
An Aspirin Article From WDDTY
Here is an online news story from What Doctors Don’t Tell You… and here [PDF] is their source. I’ve previously written about WDDTY’s reporting of a paper by DeStefano et al. This isn’t quite as bad, but there are a couple of mistakes in what is a very short article. ...
Wednesday, 15th January
My BMJ editorial: we need routine audit of missing clinical trials
Monday, 13th January
The Science Behind the DNA Weight Loss Diet
I have now read the pdf on the science behind the DNA diet. I am now thinking that there may be something to it but that something is a little underwhelming and referring to advice based on it as “individually tailored” is a bit of a stretch. It starts with ...
Sunday, 12th January
Celebrities and seizures: Evan’s grandmother speaks out
Wednesday, 8th January
DNA-Tailored Diets? I Don?t Think So!
It’s January so once again the dubious diet aids are being wheeeled out. The latest is a diet and exercise regime tailored to your DNA. This story has appeared in the Daily Mail and Metro as well as the Manchester press though currently the Daily Mail link is broken (I ...
Tuesday, 7th January
Strange Attempt to Link Bad Science to a Suicide
A blogger appears to be blaming the Bad Science forum for a suicide. The blogpost now opens with a Stop Press: [STOP PRESS 4 Jan 2014 @15:02: Dr Ben Goldacre’s Internet Bullies Given OK To Launch Attacks On Their Own Blogs – And Told To Shut Up On His BadScience ...
Jenny McCarthy, autism families are not your shield
Monday, 6th January
I wrote this in the Guardian: denialism over clinical trial results being withheld
Jenny McCarthy setting the record straight…when it suits her
Friday, 3rd January
Public Accounts Committee issues damning report on clinical trial results being withheld
Wednesday, 1st January
2013 in review
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 ...
Tuesday, 31st December
A Sixth Year of Steam
This will be a somewhat shorter than usual post as I’ve not blogged since May so there’s not so much on which to report. The year began with MXI’s meal replacement therapy, which was not quite as additive free or choclaty as the label might suggest. Incidentally, the link I ...
Science is harmed by hype. How to live for 969 years.
Jump to follow-up [This an update of a 2006 post on my old blog] The New York Times (17 January 2006) published a beautiful spoof that illustrates only too clearly some of the bad practices that have developed in real science (as well as in quackery). It shows that competition, ...