Originally published on Goodreads
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre is a book on how science is being misused and misrepresented in the medicinal and nutritional markets.
The book starts pretty aggressively with Goldacre’s not so subtle opinion on nutritionists, alternative healers and others who are either misusing science to sell health products or treatments or simply making up things and putting on a sciency explanation in the name of profits. The book then moves on to media coverage and the lack of proper science writers. Goldacre accuses the media for being humanists who are secretively jealous of science. And lastly Goldacre moves onto how the pharmacological industry can misuse science to best represent their product.
As mentioned, Goldacre is going very hard against those that he argues is misrepresenting science to the general public. I fully understand the anger, as a reader, some of the cases mentioned does make you feel that something needs to change. But at the same time, I find it extremely tiring to read what sometimes borders onto rants, even if he argues for and proves every point, it’s just too much. Which is a shame because Goldacre manages to fill in a lot of information on the scientific method and something that I remember learning with interest in my studies, how to conduct proper studies where you eliminate biases. Another thought I had while reading this book is that while it clearly makes a case against the people and companies mentioned in this book, it feels like a witch hunt and frankly, if someone who believes in the people and companies that Goldacre is arguing is duping people, then are they really going to change their minds when reading this book? I would imagine they would become more entrenched in their view. And then ironically this book becomes a part of confirmation bias for people who shares Goldacre’s views.
I really do want to recommend this book, but I didn’t like the tone and what interesting content is in there, it’s hidden behind layers of anger and derision.
2 out of 5 stars.