Book: Bad Science
|The Group:||Alexandru Paiu, Sean McCullagh, Garry Flynn|
We are a group that are chemistry enthusiasts. We all love science and have been interested in most fields for some time now. We are first year analytical chemistry students that have chosen the book “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre. We are eager to learn about the world of science and how bad principles can be used to hide real results.
The theme we chose for this project was that of “modern day snake oil salesman.” We chose this theme as unethical scientists may hide certain things from the public and produce altered results to publish in articles or to sell a new “miracle” product on the market.
The three topics presented on the info-graph are “Aqua Detox”, “Medicine” and “Good/Bad Science”. They each go into detail about examples of poorly carried out science brought to our attention by the author of the book, Ben Goldacre. An example of such a lie is that of the homeopathic therapy known as aqua detox, which as explained in the infographic uses basic oxidation to give the facade of the release of toxins from the body.
The book didn’t include much chemistry but did cover many more aspects that affect all fields of science, especially the public view of sciences which we hope is conveyed in our infographic.
Alexandru – The assignment itself was challenging yet intriguing. I enjoyed reading the book that we chose as a group. It covered various topics of the world of science in a humorous way. I feel that this book would definitely be exciting for those who aren’t majors in chemistry. I covered “Medicine” for the info-graph and I found it informative particularly about the processes scientists use to create drugs. Scientists take various paths in creating drugs and to minimise the risks involved in taking them. They try to make it accessible to everyone in the world but that isn’t always the case. In the end the medicine industry costs a fortune to run and it can’t be used by everyone in the world for better health.
Garry – Ben Goldacre was able to give a great overview of the struggles against shysters in the world of science. While keeping a light-hearted demur, he was still able to keep the material informative and straightforward. The book goes into the worse sides of both alternative and mainstream medicine which definitely gave the book an unbiased leaning which I loved. After reading his book ‘Bad Science’, myself and my group members wanted to create something that would highlight a few of the lesser-known mistruths and maybe teach someone the ways of noticing when people wielding science is not being entirely honest. The take-away being, don’t take everything someone says in a lab coat as fact. They’re still humans who are prone to mistakes or misdeeds.
Seán – The project itself was a major step-up in relation to the other assignments we’ve had so far. I found that the book was very interesting, and the humour gave it a decent pace. None of the other books had the same journalistic exposé style of writing, yet it had a rare sense of genuine knowledge giving the impression that the writer is very informed in that field of science. The book ‘Bad Science’ inspired us to make an infographic to cut through the obscurity and lies of homeopathy, poor scientific journalism and unethical science. All of which are relevant topics to students of any science discipline and as well to the general public and in the ever-growing development of technology and medicine in the world today.