Bad science: exposing media scaremongering, quacks and charlatans at BVA Congress 2017  

23 August 2017

Dr Goldacre will outline the use of bad science in bamboozling the public, in this year's BVA Congress Wooldridge Memorial lecture (Photo: John King)

Best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner and medical doctor Ben Goldacre, who topped the paperback non-fiction charts with ‘Bad Science', will share his specialism of unpicking scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, government reports, pharmaceutical corporations and quacks in the 50th anniversary Wooldridge Memorial Lecture at BVA Congress at this year's London Vet Show (17 - 18 November).

Dr Goldacre trained in medicine at Oxford and London, before becoming a household name through his weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian between 2003 and 2011. Bad Science the book has, in the past eight years, sold over half a million copies worldwide and is being published in 31 languages. In 2014, Dr Goldacre published his third book, a volume of collected journalism entitled ‘I think you'll find it's more complicated than that'. Dr Goldacre currently works as an academic in epidemiology.

In this year's Wooldridge Memorial Lecture at BVA Congress, Dr Goldacre will draw on his years of experience to highlight how quacks and charlatans misuse evidence, and the placebo effect, to bamboozle the public; an issue of interest for the veterinary profession, considering the topical focus on evidence-based medicine.

The lecture is open to all London Vet Show attendees and will take place in the BVA Congress Theatre at London's ExCeL between 12.30 – 1.30 on Friday 17 November.

British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said, “We know that many people's first point of call is the media or Dr Google when trying to decide what pet to purchase or how to treat their animal's - or their own - health! So, I'm sure veterinary colleagues from all areas of the profession will find Dr Goldacre's insight both engaging and inspiring in their day-to-day and working lives.

“We look forward to welcoming all London Vet Show attendees to hear more about Dr Goldacre's expertise and anecdotes.”

The first Wooldridge Memorial Lecture, posthumously named after veterinary politician and researcher Dr W R Wooldridge, was delivered at BVA Congress in 1967 by Professor Lord Stamp and, over the years, has been followed by lectures from eminent speakers including the Princess Royal (1992), President of the Animal Health Trust; Sir Robert May FRS, Chief Scientific Adviser, Office of Science and Technology (1999); and Dr John Bradshaw, author of bestsellers “Dog Sense/In Defence of Dogs” and “Cat Sense” (2015).

Other BVA Congress sessions at London Vet Show 2017 include ‘Nudge, nudge – how can we change owner behaviour for better welfare?'; Veterinary workforce crisis: what's really going on?' and ‘Veterinary Surgeons Act: an open and shut case?'. BVA Congress sessions as well as associated BVA Farm Animal, BVA/BEVA Equine, and BVA Career Development Streams count towards CPD.

BVA members can get access to the full BVA offering, as well as the usual London Vet Show programme, for 15% less than the lowest advertised price. To book simply enter your BVA membership number and the code BVA 8 to claim your discount when you book online.

Related BVA policy