Ben Goldacre Quotes

Enjoy the top 72 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Ben Goldacre.

Ben Goldacre Quotes

Dr Stewart Wolf took the placebo effect to the limit. He took two women who were suffering with nausea and vomiting, one of them pregnant, and told them he had a treatment which would improve their symptoms. In fact he passed a tube down into their stomachs (so that they wouldnt taste the revolting bitterness) and administered ipecac, a drug that which should actually induce nausea and vomiting. Not only did the patients symptoms improve, but their gastric contractions—which ipecac should worsen—were reduced. His results suggest—albeit it in a very small sample—that a drug could be made to have the opposite effect to what you would predict from the pharmacology, simply by manipulating peoples expectations. In this case, the placebo effect outgunned even the pharmacological influences. More
— Ben Goldacre —

You are a placebo responder. Your body plays tricks on your mind. You cannot be trusted.

— Ben Goldacre

I'd like to submit to Bad Science my teacher who gave us a handout which says that 'Water is best absorbed by the body when provided in frequent small amounts.' What I want to know is this. If I drink too much in one go, will it leak out off my arsehole instead?
Thank you. Anton.

— Ben Goldacre

Homeopathy pills are, after all, empty little sugar pills which seem to work, and so they embody [..] how we can be misled into thinking that any intervention is more effective than it really is.

— Ben Goldacre

At school you were taught about chemicals in test tubes, equations to describe motion, and maybe something on photosynthesis-about which more later-but in all likelihood you were taught nothing about death, risk, statistics, and the science of what will kill or cure you.

— Ben Goldacre

What can you do? There's the rub. The most important take-home message with diet and health is that anyone who ever expresses anything with certainty is basically wrong, because the evidence for cause and effect in this area is almost always weak and circumstantial, and changing an individual person's diet may not even be where the action is.

— Ben Goldacre

Teaching needs an ecosystem that supports evidence-based practice. It will need better systems to disseminate the results of research more widely, but also a better understanding of research, so that teachers can be critical consumers of evidence.

— Ben Goldacre

There is this peculiar blind spot in the culture of academic medicine around whether withholding trial results is research misconduct. People who work in any industry can reinforce each others' ideas about what is okay.

— Ben Goldacre

Doctors and patients need as much data as possible to make an informed decision about what treatment is best.

— Ben Goldacre

Transparency and detail are everything in science.

— Ben Goldacre

Here we will see that pharmaceutical companies spend tens of billions of pounds every year trying to change the treatment decisions of doctors: in fact, they spend twice as much on marketing and advertising as they do on the research and development of new drugs. Since we all want doctors to prescribe medicine based on evidence, and evidence is universal, there is only one possible reason for such huge spends: to distort evidence-based practice.

— Ben Goldacre

Sham ultrasound is beneficial for dental pain, placebo operations have been shown to be beneficial in knee pain (the surgeon just makes fake keyhole surgery holes in the side and mucks about for a bit as if he's doing something useful), and placebo operations have even been shown to improve angina. That's

— Ben Goldacre

Twenty years ago. First, when you take a static picture of society, people

— Ben Goldacre

We hope that this will help reduce the chances of real-world outcomes, like heart attack and death, both of which occur at a higher rate in people with

— Ben Goldacre

There is an almost linear relationship between the methodological quality of a homeopathy trial and the result it gives. The worse the study-which is to say, the less it is a "fair test"-the more likely it is to find that homeopathy is better than placebo.

— Ben Goldacre

Classically, cosmetics companies will take highly theoretical, textbookish information about the way that cells work-the components at a molecular level or the behavior of cells in a glass dish-and then pretend it's the same as the ultimate issue of whether something makes you look nice. "This molecular component," they say, with a flourish, "is crucial for collagen formation." And that will be perfectly true (along with many other amino acids which are used by your body to assemble protein in joints, skin, and everywhere else), but there is no reason to believe that anyone is deficient in it or that smearing it on your face will make any difference to your appearance. In general, you don't absorb things very well through your skin, because its purpose is to be relatively impermeable. When you sit in a bath of baked beans for charity, you do not get fat, nor do you start farting.

— Ben Goldacre

A review of trials of acupuncture for back pain showed that the studies that were properly blinded showed a tiny benefit for acupuncture, which was not "statistically significant" (we'll come back to what that means later). Meanwhile, the trials that were not blinded-the ones in which the patients knew whether they were in the treatment group or not-showed a massive, statistically significant benefit for acupuncture.

— Ben Goldacre

Dr Stewart Wolf took the placebo effect to the limit. He took two women who were suffering with nausea and vomiting, one of them pregnant, and told them he had a treatment which would improve their symptoms. In fact he passed a tube down into their stomachs (so that they wouldn't taste the revolting bitterness) and administered ipecac, a drug that which should actually induce nausea and vomiting. Not only did the patients' symptoms improve, but their gastric contractions-which ipecac should worsen-were reduced. His results suggest-albeit it in a very small sample-that a drug could be made to have the opposite effect to what you would predict from the pharmacology, simply by manipulating people's expectations. In this case, the placebo effect outgunned even the pharmacological influences. More

— Ben Goldacre

There is essentially no difference between the vitamin industry and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries (that

— Ben Goldacre

The placebo effect is one of the most fascinating things in the whole of medicine. It's not just about taking a pill, and your performance and your pain getting better. It's about our beliefs and expectations. It's about the cultural meaning of a treatment.

— Ben Goldacre

The plural of anecdotes is not data

— Ben Goldacre

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