in Literature on Literature, Readings
I just finished reading “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre. It’s an entertaining read discussing the various tricks employed by the “alternative” medicine circles and pharmaceutical industry to peddle drugs / miracle cures and therapies (you will never buy vitamins again).
In particular, the chapter “How the Media Promote the Public Misunderstanding of Science” stayed with me. This chapter discusses the role of media in actively promoting false ideas, mostly driven by profit or a lack of understanding. Most of the issues presented in this chapter apply to science in general and not only to medicine related topics. It also stresses the need for scientists to communicate science better and take a more active role in how their results are presented. It’s often all too clear that climate deniers exploit the weaknesses of the media to push their agenda. Media want easy (positive) headlines with an easy to understand storyline - e.g. miracle cures. Sadly, the world and science is often more complicated. But this does not mean we should not try to word things differently as to reach more people with research.
I can only recommend reading this book and I wholeheartedly support the author’s crusade against bad science in general.