DC's Improbable Science

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

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Entries Tagged as 'CAM'

Placebo effects are weak: regression to the mean is the main reason ineffective treatments appear to work

December 11th, 2015 · 20 Comments

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“Statistical regression to the mean predicts that patients selected for abnormalcy will, on the average, tend to improve. We argue that most improvements attributed to the placebo effect are actually instances of statistical regression.”
“Thus, we urge caution in interpreting patient improvements as causal effects of our actions and should avoid the conceit of […]

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Tags: acupuncture · CAM · placebo · publishing · quackademia · random · randomisation · randomization · RCT · regression to the mean · reproducibility · statistics

The Saatchi bill won’t find a cure for cancer, but it will encourage charlatans

October 24th, 2014 · 8 Comments

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Maurice Nathan Saatchi, Baron Saatchi is an advertising man who, with his brother, Charles Saatchi ("‘why tell the truth when a good lie will do?), became very rich by advertising cigarettes and the Conservative party. After his second wife died of cancer he introduced a private members bill in the House of Lords […]

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Tags: business · CAM · cancer · Cancer act · Saatchi Bill

Yet another incompetent regulator. The General Pharmaceutical Council is criminally negligent

November 4th, 2013 · 6 Comments

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The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has been the statutory body responsible for the regulation of pharmacy since 2010. It’s status is similar to that of the GMC and. heaven help us, the GCC. Before that the regulator was the same as the professional body, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPS). The […]

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Tags: Ainsworths · Alliance Boots · Anthony Pinkus · Avogadro · Boots · CAM · General Chiropractic Council · General Pharmaceutical Council · homeopathy · Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The Quacktitioner Royal is a threat to constitutional government and to the health of the nation

July 30th, 2013 · 9 Comments

This article has appeared, in nearly identical form, on the UK Conversation . You can leave comments there or here.

The modern major-general
A constitutional monarch is purely ceremonial and plays no part in politics.  Well actually in the UK it isn’t quite as simple as that. The first problem is that we […]

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Tags: British Chiropractic Association · CAM · College of Medicine · craniosacral · Department of Health · General Chiropractic Council · herbal medicine · herbalism · homeopathy · HRH · Michael Pittilo · Prince Charles · Prince of Wales · Prince's Foundation · quackademia · RLHH · Royal London Homeopathic · UCL Hospitals · UCLH

The British Pharmacological Society and the MHRA don’t help the cause of honest science. They hinder it.

February 27th, 2013 · 9 Comments

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The bulletin of the British Pharmacological Society, Pharmacology Matters, declined to publish the following article. Sadly the Society seems to be more interested in "reputation management" than in truth. Luckily, it is not easy to suppress criticism these days. A version of the article has appeared in Research Fortnight where it will […]

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Tags: Academia · Adrian Eddleston · Big Pharma · British Pharmacological Society · CAM · MHRA

Policy-based evidence. Department of Health and Prince’s Foundation censor accurate information about magic medicines

February 13th, 2013 · 36 Comments

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“In causing NHS Choices to publish content that is less than completely frank about the evidence on homeopathy, the DH have compromised the editorial standards of a website that they themselves established”. . . “. . . they have failed the general public, by putting special interests, politics, and the path of […]

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Tags: CAM · CNHC · College of Medicine · Department of Health · George Lewith · homeopathy · Michael Dixon · National Health Service · Prince of Wales · Prince's Foundation

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

September 25th, 2012 · 16 Comments

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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, in his classic book Advice to […]

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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 College of Medicine is in the pocket of Crapita Capita. Is Graeme Catto selling out?

May 3rd, 2012 · 20 Comments

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The College of Medicine is well known to be the reincarnation of the late unlamented Prince of Wales Foundation for Integrated Health. I labelled it as a Fraud and Delusion, but that was perhaps over-generous. It seems to be morphing into a major operator in the destruction of the National Health Service through […]

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Tags: antiscience · CAM · College of Medicine · David Peters · George Lewith · Graeme Catto · herbal medicine · herbalism · Michael Dixon · Prince of Wales · Prince's Foundation · quackademia · UCLH · Uncategorized

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

January 1st, 2012 · 39 Comments

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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 different BSc […]

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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

The cruelty of the Burzynski Clinic must be stopped. Come on, Marc Stephens, make my day

November 26th, 2011 · 26 Comments

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The offering of quack cancer treatments at an exorbitant price is simple cruelty. The nature of the Burzynski clinic has been known for some time. But it has come to a head with some utterly vile threatening letters sent to the admirable Andrew Lewis, because he told a few truths about Stanislaw Burzynski’s […]

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Tags: Burzynski · CAM · cancer · Cancer act · fraud

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

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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, […]

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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

Half-baked nonsense in The Atlantic

June 23rd, 2011 · 13 Comments

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Reply to David Katz.
The Atlantic is an American magazine founded (as The Atlantic Monthly) in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1857. It is a literary and cultural magazine with a very distinguished history. Its contributors include Mark Twain and Martin Luther King. So it was pretty exciting to be asked to write something for […]

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Tags: Academia · CAM · National Institutes of Health · NCCAM · quackademia

Acupuncturists show that acupuncture doesn’t work, but conclude the opposite: journal fails

May 31st, 2011 · 64 Comments

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One wonders about the standards of peer review at the British Journal of General Practice. The June issue has a paper, "Acupuncture for ‘frequent attenders’ with medically unexplained symptoms: a randomised controlled trial (CACTUS study)". It has lots of numbers, but the result is very easy to see. Just look at their Figure.

There […]

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Tags: acupuncture · CAM · randomisation · randomization · RCT · TCM · Traditional Chinese medicine · Uncategorized

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

May 3rd, 2011 · 12 Comments

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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.
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Professor Petts

The vice-cnancellor of Westminster, Professor Geoffrey Petts, with whom the buck stops, […]

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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

The A to Z of the wellbeing industry: From angelic reiki to patient-centred care

April 15th, 2011 · 10 Comments

This is a slightly-modified version of the article that appeared in BMJ blogs yesterday, but with more links to original sources, and a picture. There are already some comments in the BMJ.
The original article, diplomatically, did not link directly to UCL’s Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing, a well-meaning initiative which, I suspect, will […]

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Tags: Academia · CAM · causality · College of Medicine · HEFCE · Michael Marmot · National Health Service · NHS