DC's Improbable Science

Truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science

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Entries Tagged as 'Freedom of Information Act'

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma. Buy it now. Then do something.

September 25th, 2012 · 16 Comments

Jump to follow-up This is a very important book. Buy it now (that link is to Waterstone’s Amazon don’t pay tax in the UK, so don’t use them). When you’ve read it, do something about it. The book has lots of suggestions about what to do. Stolen from badscience.net   Peter Medawar, the eminent biologist, […]

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Tags: Academia · badscience · Big Pharma · BMJ · CAM · Clinical trials · Continuing med education · corruption · Freedom of Information Act · randomisation · RCT · Universities

The demise of quackademia. Progress in the last 5 years leaves Michael Driscoll and Geoffrey Petts isolated.

January 1st, 2012 · 39 Comments

Jump to follow-up Since writing about anti-scientific degrees in Nature (March 2007), much has been revealed about the nonsense that is taught on these degrees. New Year’s day seems like a good time to assess how far we’ve got, five years on. At the beginning of 2007 UCAS (the universities central admission service) offered 45 […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · antiscience · aromatherapy · badscience · BPP University · CAM · Central Lancashire · Chinese medicine · chiropractic · College of Medicine · corporate · craniosacral · Edinburgh Napier University · Freedom of Information Act · General Chiropractic Council · Geoffrey Petts · George Lewith · herbal medicine · herbalism · HRH · Kate Chatfield · Malcolm McVicar · MHRA · Michael Driscoll · Michael Harloe · Middlesex university · Napier university · Skills for Care · Skills for Health · Thames Valley · University of Salford · University of Southampton · University of Westminster · UUK · vice-chancellors · Westminster university

Science, philosophy and religion: which best offers us the tools to understand the world around us?

November 5th, 2011 · 25 Comments

Jump to follow-up This was the title of a meeting organised by the Bristol University Atheist Agnostic and Secular Society on 1st November. The meeting wasn’t recorded, but here is (more or less) what I said.   I’m not quite sure why I’m here, because the fantasies of religion seem to me much like the […]

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Tags: atheism · christianity · Education · Freedom of Information Act · Freedom of speech · fundamentalism · religion

Professor Geoffrey Petts of the University of Westminster says they “are not teaching pseudo-science”. The facts show this is not true

August 11th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Jump to follow-up On 23rd May 2008 a letter was sent to the vice-chancellor of the University of Westminster, Professor Geoffrey Petts Dear Professor Petts   You may be aware an article by Zoe Corbyn, published in Times Higher Education 24 April 2008, with the title Experts criticise ‘pseudo-scientific’ complementary medicine degrees.   The subtitle of […]

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Tags: Academia · Anti-science · antiscience · CAM · cancer · Cancer act · crystal healing · Freedom of Information Act · Geoffrey Petts · nutritional therapy · quackademia · Traditional Chinese medicine · University of Westminster · vice-chancellors · Westminster university

More dangerous nonsense from the University of Westminster: when will Professor Geoffrey Petts do something about it?

May 3rd, 2011 · 12 Comments

Jump to follow-up One of my first posts about nonsense taught in universities was about the University of Westminster (April 2008): Westminster University BSc: “amethysts emit high yin energy”. since then, there have been several more revelations. Jump to follow-up Professor Petts The vice-cnancellor of Westminster, Professor Geoffrey Petts, with whom the buck stops, did […]

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Tags: Anti-science · antiscience · aromatherapy · Bait and switch · CAM · conflict of interest · craniosacral · David Peters · Freedom of Information Act · Geoffrey Petts · herbal medicine · herbalism · Michael McIntyre · naturopathy · nutribollocks · nutriceuticals · nutritional therapy · Red clover · supplements · Universities · University of Westminster · Vega test · Westminster university

Scandal of the University of Wales and the Quality Assurance Agency

November 15th, 2010 · 11 Comments

Jump to follow-up The mainstream media eventually catch up with bloggers. BBC1 TV (Wales) produced an excellent TV programme that exposed the enormous degree validation scam run by the University of Wales. It also exposed the uselessness of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Both these things have been written about repeatedly here for some years. […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · badscience · BBC · Chinese medicine · chiropractic · chiropractor · Freedom of Information Act · Marc Clement · Northern College of Acupuncture · Prince of Wales · Universities · vice-chancellors

Hot and cold herbal nonsense from Napier University Edinburgh: another course shuts.

June 22nd, 2010 · 11 Comments

Western herbal medicine need not be mystical nonsense, but it usually it is,  Plants often contain chemicals that have pharmacological actions, with all the possibilities for good and for harm that implies (see Plants as medicines).  It would be quite possible to teach about the plant constituents and their actions in an entirely scientific way, […]

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Tags: Academia · CAM · Edinburgh Napier University · Freedom of Information Act · herbal medicine · herbalism · Michael Driscoll · Michael Pittilo · Middlesex university · Napier university · Robert Gordon's university · University of Central Lancashire · University of Westminster · vice-chancellors · Westminster university

University of Buckingham does the right thing. The Faculty of Integrated Medicine has been fired.

April 1st, 2010 · 50 Comments

Jump to follow-up This post recounts a complicated story that started in January 2009, but has recently come to what looks like a happy ending.  The story involves over a year’s writing of letters and meetings, but for those not interested in the details, I’ll start with a synopsis. Synopsis of the synopsis In January […]

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Tags: Academia · Andrew Miles · badscience · CAM · Carctol · causality · Conservatives for Patients' Rights · Foundation for Integrated Health · Freedom of Information Act · Karol Sikora · Mark Atkinson · Prince Charles · Prince of Wales · Prince's Foundation · randomisation · randomization · Rosy Daniel · Terence Kealey · Trading Standards · Universities · University of Buckingham · vice-chancellors

More fails for the Freedom of Information, and a bit of history

February 12th, 2010 · 14 Comments

Jump to follow-up Every single request for information about course materials in quack medicine that I have ever sent has been turned down by universities, It is hardly as important as as refusal of FoI requests to see climate change documents, but it does indicate that some vice-chancellors are not very interested in openness. This […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · antiscience · badscience · Department of Health · Edinburgh Napier University · Freedom of Information Act · herbalism · homeopathy · Kate Chatfield · measles · Michael Pittilo · MMR · Napier university · Robert Gordon's university · TCM · UCLAN · Universities · University of Central Lancashire

What actually gets taught on a homeopathy course: part 1

January 6th, 2010 · 48 Comments

Jump to follow-up The purpose of this post is to reveal a few samples of things that are taught on a homeopathy ‘degree’ course. The course in question was the "BSc Hons homeopathy course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). Entry to this course was closed in 2008 and, after an internal review, UCLAN […]

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Tags: Academia · CAM · cancer · Cancer act · Central Lancashire · Freedom of Information Act · homeopathy · Malcolm McVicar · Quality assessment · Society of Homeopaths · Unfair Trading · Universities · University of Central Lancashire · vice-chancellors

Crystal healer defiant

December 31st, 2009 · 2 Comments

Can’t resist another bit of straight plagiarism. In this week’s Times Higher Education, the inimitable Laurie Taylor wrote this. Rock around the clock Professor Georgina Kunzite, the Head of our Department of Crystal Healing, has reacted strongly to the recent High Court ruling that the University of Central Lancashire must hand over teaching materials from […]

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Tags: Academia · Central Lancashire · crystal healing · Freedom of Information Act · UCLAN · Universities · University of Central Lancashire

Information tribunal rejects appeal by University of Central Lancashire. Freedom of Information wins!

December 8th, 2009 · 55 Comments

A momentous decision was promulgated (as lawyers say) by the Information Tribunal on December 8th 2009.  It marks a step forward in Freedom of Information about how universities spend your money. It has taken 3.5 years to get to this point. Perhaps now there will be an end to the attempts of every single university […]

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Tags: Academia · Anti-science · antiscience · badscience · CAM · Central Lancashire · Freedom of Information Act · homeopathy · Malcolm McVicar · management bollocks · Quality assessment · UCLAN · University of Central Lancashire · vice-chancellors

Not much Freedom of Information at University of Wales, University of Kingston, Robert Gordon University or Napier University

October 20th, 2009 · 39 Comments

It seems very reasonable to suggest that taxpayers have an interest in knowing what is taught in universities.  The recent Pittilo report suggested that degrees should be mandatory in Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. So it seems natural to ask to see what is actually taught in these degrees, so one can judge whether […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · antiscience · business · CAM · Central Lancashire · Chinese medicine · Edinburgh Napier University · Education · evidence · Freedom of Information Act · herbal medicine · herbalism · homeopathy · Malcolm McVicar · management bollocks · managerialism · Marc Clement · Michael Pittilo · Northern College of Acupuncture · Public relations · Quality assessment · Robert Gordon's university · Traditional Chinese medicine · Universities · University of Central Lancashire · University of Kingston · University of Salford · University of Westminster · Westminster university

University of Central Lancashire stops its alternative medicine degrees (or does it?). Yes, it does!

July 16th, 2009 · 28 Comments

Jump to follow-up .The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) is the first place I asked to see teaching materials that were used on its homeopathy “BSc” course. The request was refused, and subsequent internal appeals were refused too, Clearly UCLAN had something to hide. An appeal to the information commissioner took almost two years to […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · blogosphere · CAM · Central Lancashire · Chinese medicine · Dangerous advice · Department of Health · Freedom of Information Act · Health Professions Council · herbal medicine · herbalism · Malcolm McVicar · Traditional Chinese medicine · Uncategorized · Universities