Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Bad Science

By Ben Goldacre

  • Release Date: 2008-12-07
  • Genre: Science & Nature
Score: 4.5
From 117 Ratings
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Ben Goldacre’s wise and witty bestseller, shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, lifts the lid on quack doctors, flaky statistics, scaremongering journalists and evil pharmaceutical corporations.

Since 2003 Dr Ben Goldacre has been exposing dodgy medical data in his popular Guardian column. In this eye-opening book he takes on the MMR hoax and misleading cosmetics ads, acupuncture and homeopathy, vitamins and mankind’s vexed relationship with all manner of ‘toxins’. Along the way, the self-confessed ‘Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’ performs a successful detox on a Barbie doll, sees his dead cat become a certified nutritionist and probes the supposed medical qualifications of ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith.

Full spleen and satire, Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and ultimately alarming journey through the bad science we are fed daily by hacks and quacks.


‘From an expert with a mail-order PhD to debunking the myths of homeopathy, Ben Goldacre talking the reader through some notable cases and shows how to you don’t need a science degree to spot “bad science” yourself.’ Independent (Book of the Year)

‘His book aims to teach us better, in the hope that one day we write less nonsense.’ Daily Telegraph (Book of the Year)

‘For sheer savagery, the illusion-destroying, joyous attack on the self-regarding, know-nothing orthodoxies of the modern middle classes, “Bad Science” can not be beaten. You’ll laugh your head off, then throw all those expensive health foods in the bin.’ Trevor Philips, Observer (Book of the Year)

‘Unmissable…laying about himself in a froth of entirely justified indignation, Goldacre slams the mountebanks and bullshitters who misuse science. Few escape: drug companies, self-styled nutritionists, deluded researchers and journalists all get thoroughly duffed up. It is enormously enjoyable.’ The TImes (Book of the Year)

About the author

Ben Goldacre is a doctor, writer, broadcaster and academic who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims from drug companies, newspapers, government reports, PR people and quacks. Bad Science reached Number One in the non-fiction charts, sold over 400,000 copies in the UK alone, and has been translated into 25 languages. He is 38 and lives in London.


  • Amazing and funny...can't put it down

    By Quchen piao
    I'm not a keen reader but I love this book. AND it's on my reading list for my postgrad diploma as it shows for figures and science is influenced.
  • Quack busting

    By Mr Smith
    A really good read on how humans believe in non science like homeopathy & frauds like Gillian McKeith
  • Essential

    By Dan Foy
    Provoking, amusing, and enlightening. Good enough for me to buy again on the iBookstore despite owning a physical copy (somewhere). For £4 it isn't something you should even have to think about buying - it should be automatic. It's that enjoyable.
  • Fairly good read

    By Steven Watson
    Ok so this book sets off in good pace but eventually you find yourself craving the next chaptor. By which i mean you just want the chapter you're on to end... It has a lot of interesting stuff in but it is very bloated and makes the auther look like a dog with a bone trying to get his point across. Other than that it is ok.
  • Bad science

    By Linjb101
    Thoroughly enjoyed this book but much cheaper elsewhere. A brilliant read, highly recommended!
  • Enjoyed the sample

    By Abergoon
    The sample is good but I won't be buying anything off iBooks until the money pinching Apple make the prices reasonable. It's half the price on the Kindle app so I'll be downloading it from there.
  • Loved every page!

    By Tepi2
    Fantastic vocalisation of arguments many of us would like to make but can't quite find the words or the data. Would be a great read for teenagers to arm them for the constant assault of dodgy information, there is no excuse for not reading this book. Following Goldacre on twitter will keep you up to date with the latest examples of misleading science reporting.
  • Bad is good

    By Casius Cow
    Ought to be a course in grade school. Imagine all the BS we would be spared if more of the population would laugh at some of the silliness the cloaks itself as science.
  • Brilliant!

    By CSparke
    At last someone who can see through the smoke and mirrors and into the truth behind science in the media. Helps you lift the wool from your eyes and find out just how much the media calls science is actually science.
  • Superb

    By Ten men
    A joyful romp that exposes the purveyors of quack medicine, pseudoscience and faddish diets, while teaching about the true nature of science and medicine. This stuff is deadly serious, however, and Ben deserves a medal for his courage and perseverance, particularly in revealing fake AIDS treatments. This should be compulsory reading on A level science courses, although it's more enjoyable and engaging that almost any textbook. I hope that this eBook edition is the revised version of the book -- if not, you can download the missing chapter from Ben's website: