“Battling Bad Science”

Watch Ben Godacre’s TedTalk, “Battling Bad Science.” (At least 125 words for each answer)

1. In your own words, explain the connection between what we are learning about information literacy and what Godacre is talking about? (It’s there, promise).

2. Find and explain your own example of research being “spun” or twisted to serve a purpose. What is the research, how was it appropriated, and was it successful?

For example, Goldacre mentions in an interview that he was initially drawn to this field of inquiry by the MMR/Wakefield scare, where Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study that claimed to link the measles vaccine to autism in children. It was discovered later that the study was not only flawed, but parts of it were based on lies about the condition of the children participating. In addition, Wakefield was being paid by a law firm representing parents who were engaged in a civil lawsuit, AND he had his own competing vaccine about to be released on the market. Thousands of children died of measles in the following years in large part because their parents were afraid to immunize them.