TED Talks: Ben Goldacre on what doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe

A weekly post featuring talks by innovative thinkers, sponsored by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). This is what the internet was made for – to allow challenging ideas to escape from their academic ghettoes and hang out in a place where they can talk to each other.

Ben Goldacre is a doctor and a science writer who campaigns against bad science. In fact, Bad Science is the name of his column in the Guardian. In this talk, he reveals the alarming extent of confirmation bias in clinical trials, where journals are far more likely to publish positive studies, and negative studies don’t see the light of day. So even conscientious doctors like Goldacre sometimes find themselves prescribing dangerous drugs.

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