Ben Goldacre

Add to shortlist


Associate: Eli Keren


Ben Goldacre is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and medical doctor who specialises in unpicking scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, government reports, pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks. He was trained in Medicine at Oxford and London, and currently works as an academic in epidemiology.  Ben wrote the weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian from 2003-2011. Bad Science the book (4th Estate) has sold over half a million copies worldwide, reached #1 in the paperback non-fiction charts, and is being published in 31 languages. In his second book, Bad Pharma (4th Estate, September 2012), Ben puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope, to reveal flaws throughout the ecosystem of evidence based medicine. In October 2014 he published his collected journalism in a volume entitled I Think You'll Find It's More Complicated Than That (4th Estate). 

"You know how, in this over-heated, bullshit world, you just want someone to tell it straight? That’s Ben Goldacre’s job." (Caitlin Moran)

Forthcoming publication

STATINS - 4th Estate

Medicine is broken. Statins are the single most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the whole of the developed world. They’re taken by over 100 million people, with millions of new patients making the decision every year. This should be the jewel in medicine’s crown: with immaculate data on heart attacks, risks and benefits, communicated clearly to patients so they can make informed decisions.

In reality, statins are a mess. We know that statins do some good: but we still don’t know how big the benefits are, so patients can’t make informed decisions about whether they care enough to take a pill every day. We still don’t know which is the best, so patients are put at risk by inferior treatments. We still don’t how common the side effects are, because of flawed and missing data. We still don’t give clear information to patients, so they are deprived of their right to make informed decisions about the trade-off between benefits, inconvenience, and risk.

All this can be fixed, with a few simple changes that weld big data onto the heart and art of medicine.

Disguised as a self-help manual, this will be a pop science romp, a campaigning handbook, and a call to arms for doctors, researchers and patients.

Dr Ben Goldacre is Britain’s finest writer on the science behind medicine. In this book he will lash self-help onto pop science, giving patients the tools they need to make their own decisions. More than that, he will show how patients can force doctors and policy-makers to help fix medicine and create better data. With his characteristic wit and energy, he will expose the flaws in modern medicine, and the future it deserves.


Publication DetailsNotes

4th Estate

The very best journalism from one of Britain’s most admired and outspoken science writers, author of the bestselling Bad Science and Bad Pharma.
In Bad Science, Ben Goldacre hilariously exposed the tricks that quacks and journalists use to distort science. In Bad Pharma, he put the $600 billion global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. Now the pick of the journalism by one of our wittiiest, most indignant and most fearless commentators on the worlds of medicine and science is collected in one volume.


4th Estate

Ben Goldacre puts the $600bn global pharmaceutical industry under the microscope. What he reveals is a fascinating, terrifying mess. ***Now updated with the latest government responses to the book***

Doctors and patients need good scientific evidence to make informed decisions. But instead, companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. All of this is perfectly legal. In fact, even government regulators withhold vitally important data from the people who need it most. Doctors and patient groups have stood by too, and failed to protect us. Instead, they take money and favours, in a world so fractured that medics and nurses are now educated by the drugs industry.

The result: patients are harmed in huge numbers.

Ben Goldacre is Britain’s finest writer on the science behind medicine, and ‘Bad Pharma’ is the book that finally prompted Parliament to ask why all trial results aren’t made publicly available – this edition has been updated with the latest news from the select committee hearings. Let the witty and indefatigable Goldacre show you how medicine went wrong, and what you can do to mend it.


4th Estate

Ben Goldacre’s wise and witty bestseller, shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, lifts the lid on quack doctors, flaky statistics, scaremongering journalists and evil pharmaceutical corporations.

Since 2003 Dr Ben Goldacre has been exposing dodgy medical data in his popular Guardian column. In this eye-opening book he takes on the MMR hoax and misleading cosmetics ads, acupuncture and homeopathy, vitamins and mankind’s vexed relationship with all manner of ‘toxins’. Along the way, the self-confessed ‘Johnny Ball cum Witchfinder General’ performs a successful detox on a Barbie doll, sees his dead cat become a certified nutritionist and probes the supposed medical qualifications of ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith.