Ben Goldacre is the man behind the book “Bad Science“, the blog “Bad Science” (http://www.badscience.net/) and the weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian. He is a medical doctor who specializes in “unpicking dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, dodgy government reports, evil pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks.“
One of Ben’s favorite subjects is “the placebo effect”. He wrote a two-part documentary series called The Placebo Effect on BBC Radio 4.
Recently Ben also made a short video, released by NHSChoices, on the placebo effect. Here he explains this difficult topic in a clear and comprehensible fashion.
Somehow I always think of Ben as his logo suggests: dr. Frankenstein. It is a relief to see that dr. Ben is almost the opposite: friendly, enthusiastic and crystal clear (without needing a crystal ball ;).
The video is not only recommended for people who don’t have a clue about the placebo effect but also for those (like me) who already know that a placebo is a dummy treatment.
Did you know, for instance, that one placebo can be more effective than another, depending on your expectations or the color of the capsule/pill or the expectations of the one who treats you?
Seeing the video I wondered in what respect homeopathy would differ from the placebo.
And you know what? Ben Goldacre explains that too in an older video. Really wonderful how “magically” homeopathic dilutions are graphically explained.
The first video has been tweeted about and blogged about several times. First that was a reason not to blog about it. But on the other hand the topic is well suited for this blog and many people who aren’t on Twitter or don’t follow those blogs might like it anyway.
To you my dear reader the following question: do you like me to include such videos, short notes or trendy topics on my blog alternating with the longer in depth posts)?