Qu-Chi Coup at the Telegraph

29th July, 2008 11

In a shocking move the Daily Telegraph has got rid of its Business Editor, and subsequently the other Financial and City columnists have left. In the future, its business coverage will be written by their sports, arts and news desk staff and will not undergo thorough and knowledgeable editing. Actually, this is not true. There would be riots on the 0720 commuter train from Surbiton. What is true, is that [read more…]

The Two Most Dangerous Words in Medicine are “Studies Show.”

9th December, 2007 3

Jerry Addler has published his New Year’s resolution in Newsweek, I will not report on any amazing new treatments for anything, unless they were tested in large, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials published in high-quality peer-reviewed medical journals. If that means not telling NEWSWEEK’s readers about, say, a new magnetized-water cure for osteoporosis, cancer and autism—well, there are infomercials to fill that gap. The risk that I might overlook the [read more…]

Absence of Evidence

15th July, 2007 9

The absence of the Bad Science column in yesterday’s Guardian has all the makings of a bigger story than had there actually been a column. Ben Goldacre, writer of the column, has been one of the few voices in the British press that has reliably and careful pointed out the evidence against the assertion that the MMR vaccine causes autism in children. Last Sunday’s appalling story in the Guardian’s sister [read more…]

Teachers’ Union Demand Meteorite Shields For Schools

23rd April, 2007 6

Quackery thrives on fear. Cancer, infection and injury are rightly things to be concerned about. Despite the near doubling of our expected life span in the last hundred years or so, scientific medicine will eventually let us all down and we shall eventually succumb to the final inconvenience of death. In the meantime, the fear of suffering creates opportunities for quacks to exploit. The entrepreneurial quack will fan the flames [read more…]

Luv a Duck – it’s Magnetic Holisitic Slippers!

12th February, 2007 0

It’s that time of year again when a young male duck’s thoughts turn to the browner sex. Yes, its St Valentine’s Day, and gift buying is mandatory if you wish to maintain the affections of your fair-feathered ducky-love. So what to buy? A few suggestions out there from the world of Quackland. Sarah Stacey, and her cosy tie-in with Victoria Health, had plenty of suggestions in last week’s You magazine [read more…]


20th December, 2006 3

Le Canard Noir has a hectic international life, flitting around the world in luxury, from hotel to beach, from fine restaurants to top spas. And all I have to do is occasionally blog from wherever I can get WiFi access. Such are the benefits of being a Big Pharma shill. (Keep the cheques coming in – my stocks of champagne are getting low for Christmas). However, yesterday was a little [read more…]

The Daily Mail: An Apology

12th December, 2006 4

Those of you who have read my last blog entry might be under the impression that I believe the Daily Mail is a deeply ignorant and offensive paper that panders to its bigoted readers’ prejudices and does nothing but promote its right wing individualistic nonsense. Furthermore, I may have left the impression that the Daily Mail is little more than a conduit for alternative medicine fraudsters who use the rag [read more…]

The First Annual Quackometer Awards and Year Review

8th December, 2006 0

The Quackometer has been up and running for just about a year and has seen some serious traffic increases over the past six months. Starting off with just a few hits per day, the daily unique visits now stand in the many hundreds, with a peak recently of several thousand. Cripes! What started off as a bit of a bored joke has now grown into a proper web site. So, [read more…]

A Pantomime of Science

7th December, 2006 4

A criticism often levied at the quackometer is that it is very broad brush. Fair enough. It is often quite general in what it says, but it is only a bit a web script after all. The quackometer is intended to be a spring board into the exploration of health claims. Improvements in the new year should make this easier. However, the central premise behind the quackometer is that when [read more…]

The Guild of the Gullible?

17th August, 2006 1

I think that this may be a story of despair. It may be a story about the mountain that has to be climbed if we are to live a society where quacks find it hard to profit from their lies, misinformation and delusions. At present it is a story about how newspapers contribute significantly and fundamentally to the environment in which people are swindled out of their money by quacks [read more…]