Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goldacre on Rath: Or Quackery Smacker vs. Charlatan

As you may recall, the most excellent Ben Goldacre was sued for libel (along with the Guardian) by the notorious quack Matthias Rath. As a result, Goldacre couldn’t include the shocking tale of Rath’s activities in South Africa in his superb recent book, Bad Science. Luckily, Goldacre has now made the excluded chapter freely available, and I very highly recommend reading it. My favorite bit:
Despite the extremes of this case, not one single alternative therapist or nutritionist, anywhere in the world, has stood up to criticise any single aspect of the activities of Matthias Rath and his colleagues. In fact, far from it: he continues to be fĂȘted to this day… The alternative therapy movement as a whole has demonstrated itself to be so dangerously, systemically incapable of critical self-appraisal that it cannot step up even in a case like that of Rath: in that count I include tens of thousands of practitioners, writers, administrators and more. This is how ideas go badly wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment