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Friday, 3 June 2011

Critical Thinking for Health and Medicine

31 July 2010 015Image by EadaoinFlynn via Flickr"Bad Science" is a modern classic of scientific sceptical movement. Its importance and influence easily rank it alongside the defining works of Carl Sagan, Martin Gardener, James Randi, Michael Shermer, David Aaronvitch, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Carol Tavris, Paul Kurtz, Sam Harris and Phil Plait. My rather unscientific mind put it on my "to read" list for way too long. As I learnt more about the scientific method and critical thinking from subjects I was more comfortable with like history or the social sciences, I slowly made my way to Goldacre's book with trepidation.

As it turns out, and according to Goldacre, this is the problem. The general public are confused by science and therefore untrusting of it, which makes them more susceptible to pseudoscience, quackery and manipulation on a grand scale. Whether it is buying ineffective "natural" cures from nutritionist quacks to over-priced and under-tested drugs from devious pharmaceutical companies, Ben Goldacre fears that an ignorant public is being duped and the consequences can be catastrophic.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Unearthing another eagle


The audio play tells a tale of a noble and very brave centurion, Marcus Aquila (Tom Smith) who is almost crippled when he attacks an enemy chariot in battle. As he recovers he saves the life of a gladiator, Esca (Tony Kearney), and buys him as his slave. Having formed a bond with the man he then releases him from slavery, but asks him if he would like to accompany him on a perilous journey. Impressed by his former master’s kindness and a desire to see the homeland he was originally taken from, Esca agrees to accompany Marcus.