The Guardian has once again demonstrated that science and technology should be reported by specialist journalists, not whoever just happens to be around. Patrick Kingsley, thier Egypt correspondant has reported on an Egyptian device that supposedly remotely detects hepatitis C. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Quackery’ Category
It’s New Year’s Eve and time for my review of the year. (more…)
In his book “Bad Science”, Ben Goldacre refers to a ‘detox’ footbath in which you put your feet in a bath of salt water and an electic current passed through the salt water suposedly causes ‘toxins’ to be sucked from your body. The
mark client can see the water turning a yucky brown colour so if s’he knows no chemistry s/he is going to believe that the brown stuff is indeed toxins. In fact it is a complex salt produced by electrolysis causing a reaction between the salt solution and the electrodes and will be produced without anyone’s feet in the bath. I produced a similar effect with two 9V batteries in series and a couple of steel nails as electrodes. A similar treatment is still on sale. (more…)
So you’ve got some sweet deal going – might be alternative medicine, might be hi-fi tweaks. Whatever it is, some twat of a journalist or blogger is pointing out holes in your scientific arguments and suggesting that your product is not as good as you say. This could be a threat to your income stream. What do you do? (more…)
There has been a complaint made about one Stuart Jones to the Health Professions Council alleging that he “Made disparaging and/or misleading comments on the website forum, ‘Bad Science’ about Dr XY*.” I understand that Stuart Jones post on the Bad Science forums as ‘Jonas’. I do not recall him making any “disparaging or misleading” comments about any doctor. However, he did raise some concerns with the GMC about some of the content of one Dr. Myhill’s website, and discussed this complaint on Bad Science. (more…)
There seems to be some template ‘health’ journalists (particularly those at the Metro) use to write about alternative
1. Profess scepticism about the latest woo
2. Give it a try anyway
3. Woo practitioner performs some jiggery-pokery and claims to have found a problem previously un-noticed by the journalist.
4. Wooster claims to have cured the ‘problem’.
5. Another, self-limiting, problem clears up shortly afterwards
6. Journalist is converted to belief and writes a gushing piece of advertorial for the new woo. (more…)