Tag: Skepticism

  • Beware the health scan scams: don’t be fooled by the long words

    Magic 8 Ball toys are great fun when you’re a kid. The fortune-telling plastic spheres have been entertaining children since the 1950s and are delightfully simple – you ask the black ball a question, give it a shake, and an answer ‘magically’ emerges out of the inky darkness. “Will I be popular at school?” The […]

  • Does eating Celery burn calories? The Science about ‘Negative Calorie’ diets (finally).

    Science can be great for answering life’s little questions – you know, the sort of thing you ponder whilst sitting on the toilet or waiting for the number 49 bus. Does chewing gum take seven years to digest? No. Will eating bread crusts make your hair curl? You should be so lucky. Will eating an […]

  • “Your Science Reporting Truly Sucks…” – The Editor’s ‘Apology’

    It’s not just tabloids that are having their pants pulled down at the moment. Medical journals are too. A few weeks the BJGP – Europe’s leading general practice journal – heralded apparently ground-breaking research on the benefits of acupuncture. On closer inspection, the research was poorly constructed, drew dubious conclusions and biased in extremis. I […]

  • The Top 10 Medical TV Myths

    Everyone loves a good hospital drama. They tick all the boxes for good TV: Gritty plots, life and death situations, steamy relationships, ethical dilemmas and blood and gore. Now more popular than ever, medical TV dramas have come a long way in the last 50 years. But just how accurate are they? You might be […]

  • The rise of the ‘Skeptics’: A new breed of Armchair Scientists

    When I was a child, Johnny Ball used to be my hero. He hosted a UK TV programme, called ‘Johnny Ball Reveals All‘. With the enthusiasm of a five-year-old, he bounced across the TV screen while explaining science questions: ‘Why does a volcano erupt?’, ‘How do my eyes work?’ and ‘What is electricity?’ He was an inspiring and eccentric […]