Book Club Winner – Bad Science

Centre of the Cell recently finished hosting a book club for our YMS members. At the end of this we asked our participants to write a book review for a competition. You can find one of our winning submissions below, and another here.

Book: Bad Science

Author: Ben Goldacre

This non-fiction novel, Bad Science, very cleverly explores science misconceptions and very critically focuses on media’s misrepresentation of scientific facts — very dramatically however entertainingly introducing the chapters as ‘The nonsense du jour’ ; ‘How the media Promote the Public Misunderstanding of Science’ and ‘The Media’s MMR Hoax’… this is just naming a few. 

This very enticing novel was written by Ben Goldacre, a British physician, academic and science writer. 

Although the science novel is 339 pages long, it most definitely is worth a read and an absolute eye opener to many things that may not seem deceiving until you give this book the chance it deserves!

‘Bad Science’ was the very first science novel I have properly read and thank goodness I did! Reading this book has very much encouraged me to pluck the courage and enjoyment I have for other books and to nurture my passion further by reading other science related novels that will further fuel my knowledge. Not only does this novel allow you to believe every word due to the graphs and evidence given but also after reading it you certainly become less naive towards science articles and facts given by the media, which proven by this book, can be very misleading. 

I have two favourite chapters in this novel. The first being Chapter 2 — ‘Brain Gym’. The main reason for this is, I found it very humorous, with the author writing things like: “They’re very keen on water, for example. ‘Drink a glass of water before Brain Gym activities’, they say. ‘As it is a major component of blood, water is vital for transporting oxygen to the brain.’ Heaven forbid that your blood should dry out.” The very clever use of comedic language makes it very amusing and a fun read. 

My second favourite being Chapter 13 — ‘Why clever People Believe Stupid Things’. This is because of again how comedic yet relatable it was. Towards the end of page 243, the writer states: “Our ability to spot patterns is what allows us to make sense of the world; but sometimes in our eagerness, we are oversensitive, trigger-happy, and mistakenly spot patterns where none exist.”  

However, like any other book, this novel definitely has its downsides, the main one being some chapters were very long and seemed to get a little boring because of how lengthy it got. Images, in my opinion, would be much appreciated for a more visual element.

On a more positive note! This novel is surely something I will recommend to anyone and everyone because of how approachable, entertaining and enjoyable it was. This novel has successfully intrigued me and very positively influenced me and it will hopefully have the same impact on you!  

I will confidently rate ‘Bad Science’ — 4 bright stars!

By Inesse Youb