DC's Improbable Science

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

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Entries Tagged as 'corruption'

Stefan Grimm (1963 – 2014). A memorial to a victim of managerialism

September 24th, 2015 · 7 Comments

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Today, 25 September, is the first anniversary of the needless death of Stefan Grimm. This post is intended as a memorial.
He should be remembered, in the hope that some good can come from his death.

On 1 December 2014, I published the last email from Stefan Grimm, under the title “Publish and perish […]

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Tags: Academia · business · corporate · corruption · Imperial · metrics

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

Climate: science, politics and honesty

February 18th, 2010 · 28 Comments

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I had never intended to write about climate. It is too far from the things I know about. But recent events have unleashed a Palin-esque torrent of comments from people who clearly know even less about it than I do. In any case, it provides a good context to think about trust in […]

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Tags: Academia · blogosphere · blogs · climate · corporate · corruption · honesty · Imperial · politics · public engagement · Public relations · Universities

Lactium: more rubbish from Boots the Chemists. And a more serious problem

November 26th, 2009 · 31 Comments

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We have listed many reasons hear why you should never trust Boots.  Here are the previous ones.
Can you trust Boots?
Don’t Trust Boots
Boots reaches new level of dishonesty with CoQ10 promotion
This post is about a "functional food".  That is about something a bit more serious than homeopathy, though I’ll return to that standing […]

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Tags: Academia · advertisements · Bentham Science Publishers · Boots · business · CAM · corporate · corruption · lactium · nutribollocks · nutriceuticals · nutrition · nutritional therapy · pharmacists · Pharmacy · stress

Unscientific America: Mooney & Kirshenbaum reviewed in BMJ

September 9th, 2009 · 19 Comments

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Being interested in science communication, I was pleased when the BMJ asked me to review Unscientific America , by Chris Monney and Sheril Kirshenbaum.
The BMJ provides a link that allows you access to the whole review. They have made very few changes from the submitted version, which is reproduced below (with live links […]

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Tags: Academia · blogs · CAM · communication · corporate · corruption · creationism · Human resources · intelligent design · P.Z. Myers · Pharyngula · PR · public engagement · Public relations · Public understanding · religion · Richard Dawkins · science · science communication · Universities

The opposite of science

February 24th, 2009 · 10 Comments

BSc courses in homeopathy are closing. Is it a victory for campaigners, or just the end of the Blair/Bush era?
The Guardian carries a nice article by Anthea Lipsett, The Opposite of Science (or download pdf of print version).

Dr Peter Davies, dean of Westminster’s school of integrated health, says
“he welcomes the debate […]

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Tags: Academia · Anti-science · antiscience · badscience · blogosphere · CAM · Central Lancashire · corruption · evidence · Geoffrey Petts · homeopathy · management bollocks · naturopathy · nutritional therapy · Universities · vice-chancellors · Westminster university

“Detox”: nonsense for the gullible

January 5th, 2009 · 15 Comments

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Sense about Science have just produced a rather good pamphlet that exposes, yet again. the meaningless marketing slogan “detox”.  You can download the pamphlet from their web site.
The pamphlet goes through the claims of eleven products.  Needless to say, the claims are either meaningless, or simply untrue.

Garnier Clean Detox Anti-Dullness Foaming Gel
“Detoxifies by […]

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Tags: advertisements · Anti-science · antioxidant · antiscience · antoxidant · badscience · Boots · business · CAM · corporate · corruption · Detox · nutribollocks · nutrition · supplements

Patent medicines in 1938 and now: A.J.Clark’s book.

September 29th, 2008 · 14 Comments

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Alfred Joseph Clark FRS held the established chair of Pharmacology at UCL from 1919 to 1926, when he left for Edinburgh.  In the 1920s and 30s, Clark was a great pioneer in the application of quantitative physical ideas to pharmacology.   As well as his classic scientific works, like The Mode of Action […]

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Tags: Academia · advertisements · antiscience · ASA · Bad journalism · badscience · Big Pharma · blogosphere · Boots · business · CAM · chiropractor · conflict of interest · coQ10 · corruption · Dangerous advice · Department of Health · herbalism · MHRA · N.Z. Chiropractors’ Association · New Zealand Medical Journal · nutribollocks · nutritional therapy · Politicians · regulation · Universities

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science. “Let me tell you how bad things have become”

September 11th, 2008 · 14 Comments

There have been some really excellent books about quackery this year.  This isn’t one of them, because

Nice dedication uh?

it is about a lot more than quackery  It is about the scientific method in general. and in particular about how often it is misunderstood by journalists.  Abuse of evidence by the pharmaceutical industry is treated just […]

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Tags: Academia · anti-oxidant · Anti-science · antiscience · antoxidant · badscience · Big Pharma · CAM · corporate · corruption · Department of Health · Geoffrey Petts · herbalism · homeopathy · honey · Human resources · nutribollocks · nutrition · Pittilo · supplements · Universities · vice-chancellors

Boots zapped by Advertising Standards Authority

May 14th, 2008 · 6 Comments

After writing the recent post Boots reaches new level of dishonesty with CoQ10 promotion, I sent a complaint about the dishonesty of the advertisements to the Advertising Standards Authority. I got a surprsingly fast response. On April 22 I got

“it appears you have a valid point and, with a view to acting quickly, have […]

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Tags: antiscience · Boots · conflict of interest · corruption · nutribollocks · PR · Prince of Wales · Uncategorized

They’ll none of ’em be missed

February 23rd, 2008 · 70 Comments

This afternoon I went to the Coliseum to see a revival of Jonathan Miller’s 1986 production of the Mikado. It was beautifully staged. The well-known patter song of Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner of Japan, begged for a version that deals with anti-science (original here). The serious post will come later. […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · Anti-science · antiscience · assessment · CAM · corporate · corruption · Dangerous advice · evidence · Gilbert and Sullivan · herbalism · honey · HR bollocks · Human resources · mikado · opera · Universities

Quackademics in USA and Canada

February 17th, 2008 · 14 Comments

This is the third post based on a recent trip to North America (here are the first and second)
One aspect of the endarkenment, the Wal-Mart model of a university, is very much the same in the US as in the UK. At one US university, an excellent scientist offered the theory that an alien spacecraft […]

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Tags: Academia · acupuncture · advertisements · anti-oxidant · Anti-science · antioxidant · antoxidant · badscience · business · CAM · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · Dangerous advice · evidence · herbalism · homeopathy · HR bollocks · management bollocks · nutribollocks · nutrition · PR · Universities

Morals in high places: leadership from Anderson and Chisholm.

December 26th, 2007 · 6 Comments

We hear a lot about leadership these days. It has become one of the favourite buzzwords of those who do neither research not teaching. The word occurred six times in a recent HR-speak document that was sent to explain the criteria for promotion to a chair. Quite what it means is never […]

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Tags: Academia · arms business · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · John Chisholm · leadership · Politicians · Roy Anderson · Universities

Are you reconceptualising?

December 8th, 2007 · 10 Comments

The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) last week had a headline “Staff loyalty key to Hefce report”.
Staff loyalty is something I’m interested in, so I read on eagerly.
The article was about report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It came from their Leadership, Governance and Management Strategic Advisory Committee (dated 2-3 July […]

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Tags: Academia · Anti-science · Big Pharma · business · corporate · corruption · Politicians · PR · science · spin · trust · Universities

On sham consultations

November 10th, 2007 · 6 Comments

No longer are we just told what to do from the top. Important decisions are preceded by a long period of consultation. That is a wonderful contribution to democracy. Sometimes. But in truth, these consultations are only too often totally sham public relations exercises. Here are a couple […]

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Tags: Anti-science · conflict of interest · corporate · corruption · science · trust · Universities