A Third Year of Steam

[BPSDB]It is almost New Year so I thought I would conduct a review of the major themes of 2010 as covered in this blog.

Judging by the University of Westminster, woo still has a place in Higher Education, covered here and here. The worst of it is that the life sciences faculty of a British University see no problem in basing medical treatments on unevidenced magical thinking.

Medical woo was much in evidence; antivaccination propoganda was as prevailant as ever. We had Mike Adams mangling statistics to ‘prove’ that vaccination increased ones chances of catching mumps. The WDDTY website also misinterpreted statistics in their attempt to re-animate the MMR zombie. MMR also featured in a Natural News goal-post-shifting effort to defend the discredited quack Andrew Wakefield (to use his full current medical title). Opposition to vaccination is a regular theme on the Natural News website. Adams claimed that swine flu was a scam and the declaration of a pandemic was due to ‘kickbacks’. A recent newsletter links to an Adams lecture as to why us Brits are suffering a swine flu epidemic now (not a scam, then). Funnily enough, he does not put it down to the ConDems fucking things up by cancelling the vaccine awareness campaign and flu vaccinations for the under-fives. To show how barking he really is on the subject, Adams treats us to a rant that vaccination is really to control our minds and stop us opposing the Government.

Another health scare conjured out of nothing, electrosmog and electrosensitivity, had more outings. In June I
fisked a Natural News claim
that ‘electrosmog’ causes diabetes. In November the METRO published a
shoddy piece of journalism
claiming that mobile phones are health risks. Most of it consisted of uncritical repititions of the claims of the electrosensitivity lobby and a certain alternative health practitioner – whose views seemed to be largely informed by a two year old scare story from the Independent. Churnalism in action.

I had a look at the lack of evidence behind social policy here and the ConDem government’s predeliction for basing their policy on dodgy anecdotes here.

So I have covered an unevidenced therapy, unevidenced health scares and unevidenced social policy. Some things don’t change. Happy New Year.

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