Cork Skeptics

Promoting Reason, Science & Critical Thinking in Cork City & Beyond

Alternative medicine – good skeptical reading

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In their talk on Saturday, Steve and Ben mentioned a number of books that are worth a read if you are interested in finding more about the research behind alternative medicine. Here are some of the books mentioned. Direct links to Eason’s and Amazon are provided if you are interested in purchasing these books or e-books directly.

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

This excellent book exposes poor and unscientific practices, no matter where they are to be found. Ben Goldacre pulls no punches and spreads his net very widely indeed. His targets include the cosmetics industry, homeopaths and quacks of all sorts, pharmaceutical companies, and so-called TV “experts” such as Gillian McKeith. It’s an excellent primer on how to distinguish the best medical practice from the worst.

Trick or Treatment by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst

 Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst consider the claims of alternative medicine from a scientific perspective, looking at the studies that have been performed on many well known alternative therapeutic practices such as chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy and herbal medicine.

Autism’s False Prophets by Paul Offit

Paul A. Offit, a national expert on vaccines, challenges the modern-day false prophets who have so egregiously misled the public and exposes the opportunism of the lawyers, journalists, celebrities, and politicians who support them. Offit recounts the history of autism research and the exploitation of this tragic condition by advocates and zealots.

Deadly Choices by Paul Offit

In “Deadly Choices,” infectious-disease expert Paul Offit takes a look behind the curtain of the anti-vaccine movement. What he finds is a reminder of the power of scientific knowledge, and the harm we risk if we ignore it.

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

This terrific book opens the lid on self-deception and cognitive dissonance: how we are hard-wired to justify our decisions and actions, even when it is plainly obvious to others that they were wrong, misconceived and sometimes malevolent.

Please let us know if you know of other books and we will take a look. We hope to do a book swap for books that are worth reading at forthcoming Cork Skeptics meetings, so please bring along your favourite books to our next meeting and feel free to take another one in return!

If you have other suggested titles, we will publish more reading suggestions soon.
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