19 August 2016

A chance to nurture your inner sceptic

Evidence Based

 

Do the peddlers of pseudoscience under the guise of alternative medicine, such as homeopaths, naturopaths and the anti-vaccination brigade, make your blood boil?

What about big pharmaceutical companies that skew their research findings to mislead both the public and medical professionals? Does that make you mad as hell?

Well, a verbal vaccination from arch-sceptic, physician, academic and journalist Dr Ben Goldacre could be just what you need to immunise yourself against all that pseudoscience and misinformation and recalibrate the settings on your bulldust meter.

The author of two books, Bad Science (2008) and Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients (2012), Dr Goldacre is visiting Australia on a speaking tour next month to fly the flag for scientific rationality and integrity.

Dr Goldacre was also the writer behind The Guardian newspaper’s weekly Bad Science column for more than 10 years.

While it is a relatively easy task to disprove the quack science behind homeopathy and anti-vaccination, Dr Goldacre also addresses the more vexing issue of why people choose to believe in alternative therapies in the first place.

“It is sometimes perhaps a reaction against a perception that medicine is authoritarian or identifies with the government or your parent. It is childish rebelliousness,” he argues.

Readers of The Medical Republic can receive a 10% discount on tickets to hear Dr Goldacre speak by entering the code “medrep” when purchasing.

Dr Goldacre is appearing at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition centre on September 22, The Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre on September 23 and the Enmore Theatre in Sydney on September 25.

Tickets can be bought at: www.thinkinc.org.au