The hidden side of clinical trials

Watch the AllTrials TEDx talk on YouTube

Learn more

Evidence matters to the public

Join us on 1st November at Parliament to make the case

Learn more

Plant Science Panel

Insecticides, biofuels, GMOs …

Learn more

'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

Learn more

News and Comment


April 2016

Government announces suspension of 'anti-lobbying clause’

Maddox Prize: call for entries now open

2016 What Works Summit: call for submissions
We're organising the 2016 What Works Summit alongside the Campbell Collaboration, 3ie and the What Works Research Centre (Queen's University Belfast). Deadline for submissions is Monday, 25th April 2016.

March 2016

Government plans to stop publicly funded researchers influencing policy. Yes, really.

Stop the government 'anti-lobbying clause'
A proposed change to the wording of government grants would have a serious chilling effect on researchers and others speaking out.

February 2016

RIP Michael Hanlon 1964 - 2016
A true friend to scientific discovery, a true friend to inquiring minds, a true friend.

Plant science panel member answering your questions on Reddit
Professor Huw Jones' 'AMA' (Ask Me Anything) will be on Thursday 4th February, at 4pm GMT.

January 2016

Measuring government transparency
Sense About Science, in partnership with Institute for Government and the Alliance for Useful Evidence, will be running an initial benchmarking exercise in 2016 to see how government is faring on evidence transparency.

'Haven’t the Foggiest' weather quiz launched today
Voice of Young Science members have today launched their latest campaign, a quiz to address misleading use of weather terms.

December 2015

“Best and Worst” of 2015
In 2015, 521 people used the tool to ask organisations and people selling products for supporting information behind claims ranging from silver-lined underpants to London buses that run on used cooking oil.

‘Why “good energy policy” is difficult’
We are extremely proud to have helped organise a lecture given by Professor David MacKay in the House of Lords on Wednesday 2nd December 2015.

Christmas Reading Room 2015

November 2015

Call for evidence: inquiry into government research
Sense About Science is calling for evidence to our inquiry into the scale and causes of the delayed publication or withholding of government research.

Winners of the 2015 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science announced

October 2015

Live carbon capture and storage Q&A

Show your workings
New framework released today to rate government transparency about its use of evidence.

Introducing our 2016 Ask for Evidence Ambassadors
Ten passionate early career researchers have been selected from over 100 applicants as our 2016 Ask for Evidence ambassadors.

Annual Lecture podcast

September 2015

A cipher machine used to hide secrets will be auctioned to help reveal medical secrets

Peer Review Week
It’s the inaugural Peer Review week, running from Monday 28th September to Friday 2nd October.

Can you handle the truth? Read Tracey Brown's article
Ahead of her Sense About Science lecture, our director digs around the evidence with some uncomfortable concerns about accountability in public life

Inquiry into the non-publication of government research
Sense About Science is starting an inquiry into the delayed publication and suppression of government research.

Vacancy - Campaigns & Policy Officer
We are recruiting for this new post to support Sense About Science’s campaigns - including AllTrials, Ask for Evidence and the Libel Reform Campaign - and our policy and responsive work.

Ask for Evidence lesson plan launched today
We’ve been working with young people to help them develop the skills they need to critically assess claims online and prevent the spread of unquestioned information.

August 2015

Become an Ask for Evidence ambassador
Sense About Science is recruiting six ambassadors to represent the Ask for Evidence campaign and give talks to different groups across society.

Letter to Scottish Government from research organisations
28 research organisations have written an open letter to the Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs Mr Richard Lochhead in response to his plan to ban GM in Scotland.

July 2015

Pharma company investors call for clinical trials transparency
We’re delighted to announce that investors representing more than €3.5 trillion in assets are supporting the AllTrials campaign.

New edition of Making Sense of Screening launched
Public expectations about screening still don’t match what screening programmes can deliver.

June 2015

GM field trial threatened by vandals publishes results
Scientists ready to answer your questions on new study results.

Allergies Q&A with Mumsnet
Post your allergy questions on the Mumsnet forum to be answered by the experts.

Launch of Making Sense of Allergies
Confusion about allergies is putting people needlessly at risk say experts and medical charities

Sense About Science helps develop website that makes research publicly accessible

Live Q&A – what is putting our potatoes at risk?
Live plant science panel Q&A on Monday 22nd June between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.

May 2015

New science advice plan for Europe

April 2015

No place for crime fiction in policy
UK election manifestos are misleading voters on crime and evidence.

Got questions about fracking?
Get them answered by an expert in our next live online Q&A

WHO calls for all clinical trial results to be published
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made it unambiguously clear that researchers have an ethical imperative to make results from all clinical trials – including past trials – publicly available.

What do MPs think of RCTs?
Our survey of MPs’ attitudes has found unexpected support for using randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to test social policy. It also found tensions over fairness, and a preference for personal stories when talking to the public.

March 2015

University of Sheffield joins the plant science panel

Ask for Evidence is coming to Sheffield

February 2015

MPs find EU regulation on GMOs not “fit for purpose”

Welsh translation of 'Sense about genetic ancestry testing' ahead of S4C documentary
Our popular guide to genetic ancestry testing is now available in Welsh.

Live Q&A – what does ‘natural’ actually mean?
Live plant science panel Q&A on Friday 27 February between 1 and 2pm.

January 2015

Join us at AAAS
We're hosting a workshop, drinks reception and two sessions at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference, 12th - 16th February. Join us if you can.

Introducing Fact Check Central
Read, search and share fact checking blogs from across the web

New EU law allows countries to opt-out of growing GM
Researchers might benefit from the prospect of being able to use an evidence based approach in at least some member states.

Vacancy - Campaigns Manager
We are recruiting for this new post to run the AllTrials campaign and parts of other Sense About Science campaigns and responsive work.

December 2014

The best kept detox secret?

Energy panel live Q&A
Can we get the energy we need without the emissions we don’t want?

November 2014

Christmas Reading Room 2014

Sense About Science Annual Lecture

European Chief Scientific Adviser post - no longer

I'll see you in court: ten people silenced by libels
Join Simon Singh and the Libel Reform Campaign in Belfast to hear discussions the people of Northern Ireland cannot hear due to the archaic state of the law of libel.

Ask for Evidence Online launched today
Today we're putting politicians, companies, NGOs and individuals on notice that they should expect to be asked for evidence soon as we launch Ask for Evidence Online.

October 2014

GM in Europe, it's not what you think
Discussions in Europe have been around GM as a corporate issue which ignores its use in publicly funded research.

Winners of the 2014 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science announced

This is our chance: WHO seeks comments on reporting clinical trial results
Respond to the World Health Organisation's consultation on reporting results of clinical trials before 15th November.

Live Q&A - send us your questions on genome editing

EMA removes some restrictions from its data sharing policy
Europe's medicines body listened to us and made it easier for researchers to do their jobs.

September 2014

VoYS member wins science communication award

Mumsnet & Ask for Evidence
This week Mumsnet, the UK’s biggest network for parents, is featuring Ask for Evidence as its “Campaign of the Week”.

Free policy conference for early career scientists
The University of Sheffield group ‘Science in Policy’ has organised a free science-policy conference to be held on the 7th November 2014.

Join us at the British Science Festival
We are looking forward to a discussion at the British Science Festival in Birmingham on Saturday 6 September 2014. Join us if you can.

August 2014

Two job opportunities at Sense About Science
We have two new vacancies

Should the EMA be allowed to censor independent analysis of data?
European medicines body seems to want to control publication of analyses of data about side effects of drugs

Energy panel - coming soon

July 2014

No plans to promptly count the dead: The Government replies to our letter

VoYS Spoof Diets
Diets on the internet: You might as well make them up

Letter to Mr Juncker: Scientific scrutiny in Europe is essential

Encouraging young people to ask critical questions
New Ask for Evidence work with teenagers

Live Q&A - send us your questions on soil

Bringing libel reform to Scotland
The Defamation Act 2013 must be extended to Scotland. Can you join us in Edinburgh on Thursday 17th July at 5 pm?

Comment: The Medical Innovation Bill is vague and unnecessary

Today we are launching the Spanish translation of Sense About Homeopathy.

June 2014

But does it make us safer?

Charities tell PM official death statistics are wrong

Join us at ESOF
We are running four sessions at the EuroScience Open Forum conference in Copenhagen, 21st – 26th June. Join us if you can.

EU medicines body reverses restrictions on access to trial data following researcher and citizen protest
The EMA is going to remove on-screen-only access clause from its data sharing policy

PETA says milk is linked to autism

May 2014

AllTrials video - Make Clinical Clinical Trials Count

Launch of Making Sense of Chemical Stories

Ask for Evidence on fertility claims
Have you seen claims about fertility?

Toxic misconceptions about chemicals

Ask for Evidence going to Norfolk
We’re taking the Ask for Evidence campaign to the Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes ‘Day of Discovery’ on the 15th of May.

April 2014

Ask for Evidence on migraine claims
Have you seen claims about migraine?

Libel Reform in Northern Ireland
Can you join us next week to start the campaign for libel reform in Northern Ireland?

Sense About Science user-tested SAHSU health atlas
Sense about Science carried out five workshops over two years, prior to the recent launch of the health atlas from the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU).

Nominations open for the John Maddox Prize 2014

Europe votes for clinical trial transparency
New law will ensure drug trials in Europe are registered and results reported

Ask for Evidence on antimicrobial products & policies

March 2014

Q&A on plastic packaging
Send us your questions about plastic packaging for a Q&A with experts from the British Plastics Federation and independent toxicologists.

Write to your MEP as EU Clinical Trial Regulation reaches final hurdle

We're calling for the timely publication of all government research
The government has delayed or failed to release reports on the increased use of food banks and on immigration, despite guidelines that urge prompt publication.

February 2014

Ask for Evidence at the Brighton Science Festival
We’ve teamed up with the Brighton Skeptics in the Pub for a session at the Brighton Science Festival.

Emerson Ask for Evidence Party
Join us in Boston for the official Emerson College Ask for Evidence campaign release party

Join us at AAAS
We are running two events at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Chicago, on hazards and Ask for Evidence.

Lecture to celebrate 180 years of The Royal Statistical Society
An upcoming talk about extraordinarily improbable events - and why they keep happening.

What will the impact of flooding be?
Send us your questions

January 2014

Help secure new EU clinical trial regulation
Please write to your MEP to urge them to vote in favour of new law.

Ask for Evidence on '5 a day'
Lots of people have been helping us Ask for Evidence behind the "5 a day" message in the UK and elsewhere.

Toxic chemicals in kids' clothes?
A Greenpeace campaign about “toxic chemicals in clothes” prompted us to ask some questions.

Sense About Science and NHS Choices launch new online forum
We have teamed up with NHS Choices Behind the Headlines to help people better understand the science behind health claims and to connect people with expertise.

Ministers quizzed on recycling policies

Neuromyths and why they persist in the classroom
We ask why popular teaching methods claimed to be based on neuroscience persist in the classroom, when there's little or no supporting evidence.

MPs call for results from clinical trials to be made available

Defamation Act 2013 has come into force
England and Wales now have the new libel law we, thousands of individuals and hundreds of organisations campaigned for for nearly five years.

December 2013

All change with Celebrities and Science

Send us your questions on animal feeding studies

Until the results of all clinical trials are published, patients everywhere lose out

What’s the evidence for banning electronic cigarettes?
We asked the BMA why they want them banned in public.

Medical students are Asking for Evidence
Students 4 Best Evidence is supporting the Ask for Evidence campaign

Our Christmas list is up
Crime, Drugs, Star Wars and the Simpsons... It is time once again for this year’s Sense About Science Christmas Reading Room.

November 2013

Waste experts answer your questions
Read our rubbish and recycling Q&A.

Ask for Evidence on recycling claims
Lots of people have been asking for evidence behind claims about rubbish and recycling. Get involved in our rubbish week.

Is casual sex linked to depression?

New libel law in January
The Defamation Act 2013 will come into force on 1st January 2014 Minister for Justice Lord McNally announced in the House of Lords yesterday.

Ask for Evidence coming to Scotland
Monday 25th November 2013 - Come and join us at our first Scottish Ask for Evidence event!

Launch of Making Sense of Drug Safety Science

AllTrials briefing on Clinical Trials Regulation

Please donate or we'll send this video around the world

Winner of the 2013 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science announced

October 2013

Public led expert fed

Additives in children's medicine

New Miracle Cure! An #AskforEvidence sketch

"Is BPA linked with increased risk of miscarriage?"

5 things you can do today to help with the AllTrials campaign

Magazine gives dangerous health advice

September 2013

What models are not…
In the midst of IPCC media coverage we look at models and uncertainty.

MPs call on Government to ensure clinical trials are registered and reported

Patients warn other patients about the danger of untested cures on the web

Ask for Evidence on miracle cancer cures
Every month there are dozens of news articles about medical breakthroughs and the internet is cluttered with claims about unproven treatments. The evidence for many of these treatments is often anecdotal and unreliable.

Live NOW
What impact will UK biodiversity decline have?

August 2013

Debunked: Link between microwaves and cancer

Cory Doctorow on Ask for Evidence campaign
Cory Doctorow, activist, journalist and blogger writing on Boing Boing helps spread the word about the Ask for Evidence campaign.

All trials registered and results reported
The AllTrials campaign has published a detailed plan on how all clinical trials can be registered and all results reported.

July 2013

Pharmaceutical industry bodies plan to mobilise patient groups
A leaked memo from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhMRA) sets out their strategy.

Chemicals in spray tan "may increase the incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity and to impair fertility."

AllTrials campaign needs your help
We don’t want history to record that we didn’t do something because we couldn’t afford it. We need your help to grab this opportunity.

"Danger to health in just one bottle of diet drink each day"

The precautionary principle is a blunt instrument

"Lie detector tests set to be introduced to monitor sex offenders"

June 2013

'Making Sense of Uncertainty' guide is launched
Think uncertainty is a bad thing? It’s actually a mark of sound science.

"Antidepressants 'could be risk to unborn babies'"

RIAT initiative for publication of historical clinical trial findings

London says goodbye to libel tourists
Government promises to bring new libel law into effect by end of the year

RCOG report on chemical exposures during pregnancy
Our reaction to the report

May 2013

Live online Q&A
What would your ideal ‘super wheat’ be?

Annual Lecture 2013

Launch of public guide to peer review in China
Chinese translation of 'I Don’t Know What to Believe' our guide to peer review is launched today.

Join us to raise a glass to libel reform
The Defamation Bill became the Defamation Act last week. It’s time to celebrate its successes and the campaigning effort.

Can you join us downstairs at the Penderel’s Oak pub in Holborn, London EWC1 on Thursday 16th May from 6.30pm?

"Are heavy metals in lipsticks linked to cancer?"

Supermarkets seriously misinforming customers about health risks

April 2013

AllTrials campaign launches in America
Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine to lead the US campaign for all clinical trials to be registered and results reported

Evidence Based Medicine Matters is launched today

Nominations open for the John Maddox Prize 2013

Evidence Based Medicine Matters

Defamation Bill agreed by Parliament
Bill just waiting for Royal Assent to become law

Defamation Bill returns to the House of Lords
Thanks to all your work with us over the last few weeks, the proposal asking companies to show harm before they can sue for libel is back on the table.

Are single vaccines safer than the MMR jab?

The Cochrane Collaboration joins AllTrials campaign
The Cochrane Collaboration has become one of the core organisations in the AllTrials campaign, joining Sense About Science, BMJ, James Lind Initiative, Bad Science and the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.

How can it be right that companies delivering public services can’t be criticised by citizens?
The Government rejected reforms that would limit companies' abilities to use the libel laws

Government chooses business interests over citizens
How can it be right that companies delivering public services can’t be criticised by citizens

"Coffee beans pill would beat diabetes"

Libel Reform at risk - We need your urgent help.

March 2013

"TV turns kids into monsters"

We are all "related" to Romans, Vikings, Egyptians & Attila the Hun
Scientists warn the public that some commercial DNA tests are ‘genetic astrology’.

"3p blood pressure pill beats dementia"

The Government must bring the Defamation Bill back to the Commons

Insecticides and bees: your questions answered

"Don't be tempted by supermarket cholesterol tests"

February 2013

"Mediterranean diet reduces heart attacks"

Using GM plants to ‘grow’ medicine - Live online Q&A

Ask for evidence USA Launch
Postdocs and graduate students from all fields of research and science outreach are joining together to launch a campaign to get people questioning the claims they see in newspapers, on TV, in adverts and from policy makers.

Don't drop the Defamation Bill

Peer review matters to the public
A new guide to peer review is launched in the US today to help the public make sense of research claims.

January 2013

Does a viral gene found in GM food raise safety concerns?

Is the UK snowy winter due to declining solar activity?

Open letter from clinical trial participants

AllTrials campaign launch
It's time all clinical trial results are reported.

Are fizzy drinks 'linked to depression'?

December 2012

Celebrities and Science 2012

Are GM crops bad for the environment and us?

A one-stop-shop for plant science questions
From today people will be able to question researchers directly on any aspect of plant science that comes up in public discussion, from one simple portal.

Better than the Daily Express

'Do cancer alternatives really work?'

Steer clear of false cancer cures

November 2012

Do flame retardants in sofas cause cancer?

Our Christmas List is up
Christmas shopping? Politics, poetry, science, music, hippies, Frankenstein, transparent toaster, Scooby Doo: The Sense About Science Christmas Reading Room is now live!

“Cancer danger of smacking children”

Winners of John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science announced
There are two winners of the inaugural John Maddox Prize, Fang Shi-min and Simon Wessely.

David Willetts on Fukushima risk miscommunication
Science Minister praises open letter on EU Energy Commissioner's response to Fukushima.

October 2012

Can PCBs and phthalates be linked to premature menopause?

Italian seismologists found guilty of manslaughter
Six Italian seismologists have been found guilty of multiple manslaughter, after the advice they gave prior to the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy was deemed inadequate by an Italian court. They face six years in prison.

Live online Q&A on farming and environment
Scientists answer your questions on the environmental impact of conventional and organic farming on the land used.

Lance Armstrong's lawyer calls for lie detector tests all round

Libel reform Bill goes to the House of Lords
The second reading debate of the Defamation Bill 2012.

Environmental scientists answer your questions for Biology Week
How does farming affect the environment? Send your questions now for our experts to answer on Thursday 18 October.

Letter from scientists to journal that published Seralini rat feeding study

"GM crops have increased the use of danger pesticides"

European Food Safety Authority report on GM maize paper
EFSA finds paper linking GM maize to cancer is inadequate and no conclusions can be drawn

September 2012

Experts respond to study on GM maize, herbicide and tumours in rats
Scientists have quickly responded to a paper published yesterday on GM maize, herbicide and tumours in rats, criticising the study design, its methodology and statistical analysis.

Request for data for study on GM maize, herbicide and tumours in rats

August 2012

Can your lipstick give you heart problems?

July 2012

Sense About Lie Detectors is published today

Public Liaison job vacancy

"Recognise reviewing or it risks becoming shoddy"

Sense About Science at ESOF
We are running three sessions at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) in Dublin this week. Come and join us.

MPs report on public perceptions of risk in energy generation

June 2012

Nominations open for the John Maddox Prize

Mass lobby for libel reform
Join high profile supporters of the Libel Reform Campaign in Parliament on Wednesday 27th June to tell Parliamentarians and policy makers that we need a new public interest defence to libel.

Send us your examples of scientific uncertainty in the media

Can Journalists and Health Information Professionals ever be friends?

May 2012

Plant scientists answer your questions
Plant scientists have answered more of your questions on GM wheat and commercialisation of research.

Counting aphids in the pouring rain

Libel reform announced in Queen’s Speech to Parliament
The Government will introduce a law "to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of defamation”.

Plant scientists answer your questions
Plant scientists have answered more of your questions on GM wheat

Plant scientists answer your questions

Is your mobile killing you?

Rothamsted appeal to protesters

April 2012

Does ‘the pill cause stroke’?

Do phthalates cause obesity?

New Sense About Science Chair announced

"Warning on sports drinks at the desk"

March 2012

"Mums-to-be warned of mobiles risk"

Open letter to David Willetts

The Rally for Libel Reform
People are still being bullied into silence. Costly cases are still being dragged through the High Court. Join us as we launch the Alternative Libel Project’s final report and call for libel reform in the next Queen’s Speech. Your voice is needed to ensure the government takes action.

"Is aluminium really a silent killer?"

Government's response to Joint Scrutiny Committee on draft Defamation Bill

February 2012

Voice of Young Science USA and AAAS
Leonor returns from a busy two week trip of North America and tells us about the start of Voice of Young Science USA and our packed American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting sessions.

Misreporting Fukushima?
Why did global reporting shift from one of the biggest earthquakes in history into a story of nuclear risk?
We hold a session at the AAAS Annual Meeting.

Asking for evidence for Viagra guidelines

Join us at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver
We will be holding three sessions in Vancouver on 16th - 20th February.

The reality of manmade global warming

"Heart danger in diet drinks"

January 2012

"Is fried food bad for you?"

There is no evidence that parabens increase the risk of breast cancer
Recent media stories have linked parabens found in cosmetics, food and deodorant to an increased risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer charities say there is no evidence for this.

"A sausage a day could lead to cancer"

Adding salt to drinking water

"Smear-test ageism killed our daughter"

"Breast cancer 'risk' all over shops' shelves"?

Ask for Evidence postcards
We have just launched postcards for people who want to ask for evidence for a claim in a policy, newspaper article, advert or product but don’t know where to start.

December 2011

Celebrities and Science 2011
From fashion to fad-diets, medicine to super foods, and the environment to allergies, at Sense About Science we continue to monitor the science claims made each year by the influential and the famous.

"All we want for Christmas is our MPs to back libel reform in the Queen's Speech"
Scientists, journal editors, community organisations and writers are asking everyone concerned about the impact of the libel laws on open discussions to let their MP know they want to see libel reform in the Queen's Speech in May 2012.

Dark Matter. What’s science got to hide?
Tracey Brown warns that when scientific and medical debates are stifled we all suffer.

Which? magazine joins the Ask for Evidence campaign
Which? urges everyone to ask manufacturers to support their product claims.

Campaigning on the Physical Agents Directive
Dr Stephen Keevil blogs about his experience.

M&S withdraw heat generating claim after Ask for evidence request

Christmas Reading Room
We have gathered gift recommendations from staff and friends.

November 2011

Could using Wi-Fi on a laptop leave men infertile?

Statement on libel threats to critics of The Burzynski Clinic
Bloggers discussing an unproven cancer treatment have been threatened with libel action.

"Tinned food chemical alert"

Anne Glover named as EU chief scientific adviser (CSA)

"Cervical cancer vaccine has left our daughter in waking coma"
Articles this week claim that the HPV vaccine caused chronic fatigue syndrome in a teenage girl.

Campaigners call on the Minister to back urgent action on libel law reform
Hundreds of campaigners gathered in a crowded committee room in the House of Commons to tell parliamentarians that reform of the libel laws to protect public interest discussions can’t come soon enough.

Voice of Young Science USA
We currently have two fantastic researchers from the USA volunteering with us in the Sense About Science offices.

Libel threats gag Citizens Advice, Nature and others
Citizens Advice has spent an entire year’s research and campaign contingency budget to libel-proof a report that it still can’t publish in full.

October 2011

Come to Parliament on Wednesday 9th November
Please join us in Parliament on Wednesday 9th November to tell MPs why libel reform has to happen now.

Do fizzy drinks make teenagers more likely to carry a gun?
A new study links fizzy drink consumption to violent behaviour in teenagers, but there are many other factors not taken into account.

Does exposure to BPA during pregnancy affect aggressive behaviour in children?
A new study links BPA in women’s diet during pregnancy to increased aggression in their daughters, but limitations of the research undermine these claims.

Scrutiny committee of the draft defamation bill report today
The Parliamentary Committee set up to scrutinise the government's draft defamation bill publishes its report today.

`Health in the Headlines: Making Sense of the Science?' at the British Library
Tracey Brown is chairing a debate to launch the findings of the Patients Participate! project at the British Library on Tuesday 18th October.

Comment: The value of climate science

Understanding the status of evidence
Jaime Earnest is a member of the VoYS network and a PhD student at the University of Glasgow. Here she comments on a recent debate between Aric Sigman and Ben Goldacre.

Ask for Evidence Web-Button
We have a new web-button you can put on your website to help spread the campaign message.

September 2011

Ask for Evidence campaign progress
Momentum is building since we launched the campaign. Can you help us reach more people?

Why getting it right matters
Experts say exaggerated claims of glacial melting risk damaging the credibility of climate change science.

Italian seismologists face manslaughter trial

New member of staff
Meet Victoria Murphy - she blogs here about her first week on the job.

‘Ask for evidence’ campaign launch
Today, leading scientists and public figures are helping to launch our national campaign, saying that consumers, voters and patients should demand evidence for scientific and medical claims to counter a tide of misinformation.

Review on children in nurseries and heart disease

Standing up for science in South Africa
Julia has been sharing experiences with researchers in Johannesburg.

'For the Record' on whether old sofas can affect babies' weight

August 2011

'Detox: flushing out poison or absorbing dangerous claptrap?'
Professor Edzard Ernst debunks the detox myth.

Comment: Is standard diet advice wrong?

Progress on our ‘report dodgy science’ campaign appeal
We have launched a supporter appeal to raise £8,000 to help Sense About Science begin a campaign to tackle misleading science claims more systematically.

"Scientists say..." - but how do they know?
We will be holding a session at the British Science Festival in Bradford on 13th September.

'For the record' on food preservatives

NMT Medical defamation cases against Dr Peter Wilmshurst discontinued

'For the record' on power lines and childhood asthma

July 2011

Peer Review inquiry report published
Read our response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report on Peer review in Scientific Publications.

Job opportunities
We have two vacancies for Assistant Director and for Events and Campaigns Officer.

Extreme weather conditions and global warming
A discussion on the changing evidence for how extreme weather conditions and global warming can be linked.

Debate about '8 glasses of water a day' advice
A recent article questions the evidence behind advice that drinking more water helps you to stay healthy.

'For the record' on voice prediction technology research
Can technology really predict company performance from CEOs' voices?

Help us launch a ‘report dodgy science’ campaign
We have launched a supporter appeal to raise £8,000 by 22nd July to help Sense About Science begin a campaign to tackle misleading science claims more systematically.

Comment on 'Revealed: British Government's plan to play down Fukushima'
A comment from Professor Wade Allison on discussions between Government and nuclear industry.

June 2011

International science writers call for 'kick ass' journalism
Leonor reports back from a lively and thought-provoking session at the 2011 World Conference of Science Journalists in Doha.

British Medical Association votes unanimously for robust libel law reform
British Medical Association (BMA) members voted on libel reform at their Annual Representatives Meeting

A message from Simon Singh & Ben Goldacre
Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre tell supporters about giving evidence to the parliamentary scrutiny committee on the draft defamation bill, and how they can help.

IARC working group classification of mobile phone radiation as a 'possible' cancer risk
The IARC working group publish their assessment of the scientific evidence which led to the classification of radiation emitted by mobile phones and WiFi as a ‘possible’ cancer risk.

VoYS Standing up for Science media workshop
PhD students and Post-docs raised their concerns about speaking to the media and heard from scientists, journalists and press officers about how to get involved in public debates about science.

A quick guide to libel laws in England and Wales
Read this quick guide on how our libel laws have developed and why current libel laws are so problematic

Australian critic sued by weight-loss product manufacturer for libel
The Australian weight loss product manufacturer SensaSlim is suing a critic for libel, even after having their assets frozen by Australian consumer watchdog

Ministers say draft bill is not reform, consultation responses still needed
Under questioning by the scrutiny committee today justice ministers said the Government’s draft defamation bill is simply a codification of existing law: this means that the draft bill does not deliver the reform they promised.

Italian seismologists face manslaughter trial
On 25th May 2011 it was announced that six Italian seismologists and a government official will face trial for manslaughter, after the advice they gave (prior to the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy) was deemed inadequate by an Italian court.

Welcome to our new website!
We have been busy uploading content, adding pictures and making new links on our new website and now we need your help.

The deadline for you to help shape Britain's libel laws is approaching
Can you write to Government and help show parliamentarians and law-makers the clamour for reform?

The IARC classifies mobile phone radiation as a 'possible' cancer risk.
Our For the Record piece asks: what does this mean?

May 2011

Response to calls to ban mobile phones and Wi-Fi
On the 16th May 2011 the Council of Europe passed a resolution calling for a more cautious approach to the use of technology such as mobile phones and Wi-Fi.

Sense About Science gives evidence to Peer Review Inquiry
Tracey Brown tells Science and Technology Select Committee why Peer Review matters for public debates about science and medicine.

VoYS Standing up for Science Media workshops in London
We are holding two VoYS media workshops in London - one for early career researchers in the physical, chemical and engineering sciences (27th May), and one for life, medical and bioengineering sciences (17th June).

Annual Lecture 2011
Professor Richard Evans speaks on 'Epidemics and refuseniks: the historical challenge of public health'.

April 2011

Chernobyl, 25 years on
On the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, we have collated some recent articles that discuss its legacy for public perceptions of nuclear energy and common questions about how nuclear power works.

NMT Medical goes out of business
NMT Medical, the US company who sued cardiologist Peter Wilmshurst for libel in 2007, have released a statement announcing that the company has assigned all of its assets for the Benefit of Creditors, effective immediately.

Libel Reform Campaign meet scrutiny committee to tell MPs what we think of draft defamation bill
The Libel Campaign has been scrutinising the Government’s draft Defamation Bill since its publication in March, and today appeared before a joint committee of the Lords and Commons in Parliament to discuss the Government’s proposals.

Discussions on Science and the Media and Peer Review at the Cambridge Science Festival in the US
We are holding two sessions on 3rd May at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

March 2011

Sense About Science is moving office on Monday 4th April
Our new office will be at 14A Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DP. Our new office number will be 020 7490 9590. Emails will remain the same.

Tracey Brown, Managing Director of Sense About Science, writes in The Author on Science and Libel
Tracey Brown, Managing Director of Sense About Science, writes in the spring 2011 issue of The Author, the journal of the Society of Authors on Science and Libel.

Albert Yue Yuan, reporter for Life Week writes on peer review in context of events in China
Yuan's article (in mandarin) discusses Sense About Science's debate on peer review at ESOF in the context of a Chinese journalist being physically attacked for questioning a scientist's claims.

VoYS Standing up for Science Media workshop - Institute of Physics
Our next workshop is being held at the Institute of Physics in London on Friday 27th May. Application by CV and covering letter by Monday 16th May.

Cardiologist sued for libel for 4th time by US medical device company
At 10:21 last night, NMT Medical’s solicitors served a 4th libel claim against cardiologist Dr Peter Wilmshurst.

Ask your MP to support EDM 1636 on libel reform
The Government published its draft defamation bill on Tuesday 15th March.

Mumsnet host live webchat on nuclear energy with Professor Paddy Regan
We were pleased to help put Paddy Regan, Professor of nuclear physics at Surrey University in touch with Mumsnet. Professor Regan took part in a live webchat on nuclear energy.

Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century
We have received a letter from Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century drawing our attention to their 62-page critique of our publication Making Sense of Homeopathy

Government's Draft Defamation Bill expected today
Authors, scientists and entertainers will today tell MPs why they should support reform of the arcane libel laws.

Libel Reform Campaign welcomes Government's draft Defamation Bill
The Libel Reform Campaign welcomes the Government's draft Defamation Bill as a good step in the right direction - but Parliament needs to go further in key areas

Government publishes proposals to change libel laws
The Libel Reform Campaign welcomes the Government’s draft Defamation Bill as a good step in the right direction - but Parliament needs to go further in key areas

Government libel reform bill is about to be published
Just before the Government publishes it libel reform bill, we ask for your support.

For the Record: Can your health be assessed by measuring antioxidant levels on the skin?
On the 16th February 2011 the Daily Mail featured an article with the headline: “Revealed: ‘Star Trek’ scanner that can measure damage to your body from smoking and junk food”.

February 2011

For the Record: Magnets not shown to reduce the syptoms of menopause
On 20th February 2011 the Sunday Times carried a story headed “Magnets slipped into undies ease the menopause”.

VoYS members respond to Government announcement on regulation of herbal medicine practitioners
On 16th February 2011, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that herbal medicine practitioners will be regulated by the Health Professions Council from April 2012.

Washington 2011 International Public Science Events Conference
Our International Science and Policy Manager Leonor Sierra is in Washington to chair a session on the civic responsibility of scientists

Join our call to MHRA for clear honest labelling of homeopathic products
Sense About Science has launched a call to the MHRA for clear, honest labelling of homeopathic products, that explain the lack of evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy in treatment of disease.

January 2011

VoYS Standing up for Science Media workshop - University of Manchester
Our next workshop is being held at the University of Manchester on Friday 11th March. Application by CV and covering letter.

GPhC drops two cases against pharmacies offering homeopathy to protect against malaria
In January 2011 Newsnight delivered an excellent summary of the issues around homeopathy and malaria. The programme was a follow up to our initial investigation with Simon Singh and Newsnight in 2006.

Nick Clegg commits to libel reform in speech on civil liberties
The Libel Reform Campaign welcomes Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's outlining of the detail of the Government's draft bill on defamation this morning.

Malaria and homeopathy
Newsnight and Sense About Science follow up investigation into homeopathy and malaria

New Year's Dissolutions: How not to change your life this January
In 2011 young scientists and medics decided it was time to stand up to the pseudoscience promoted each January in support of New Year’s resolutions to get fit and healthy.

December 2010

Celebrities and Science 2010
Each year at Sense About Science we review the odd science claims people in the public eye have made - about diets, cancer, magnets, radiation and more - sent in to us by scientists and members of the public.

For the record: Exposure to mobile phones not shown to cause behavioural problems in children
On 6th December several newspapers (including Daily Mail, The Sun, Metro and The Telegraph) reported showing a ‘link’ between mobile phones use by expectant mothers and also their children and behavioural problems in their children.

Government plans to remove the statutory requirement for scientists on the ACMD
Read our comments on the proposed changes to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Justice Minister tells campaigners libel law “is not fit for purpose”
Justice Minister Lord McNally has recognised that “English libel law is not fit for purpose”, as more information has come to light about the negative impact of English libel law on publishing, scientific and medical journals.

November 2010

US company ordered to pay money into court or have its libel action against cardiologist thrown out
Today in the High Court in London US medical device company NMT Medical have been ordered to pay £200,000 into court in their libel action against cardiologist Dr Peter Wilmshurst.

Libel Reform Campaign one year on event with Lord McNally
The Libel Reform Campaign (Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense About Science) would like you to join us to celebrate our first anniversary at a drinks reception

Libel Reform Campaign nominated for Liberty Human Rights Awards 2010
The Libel Reform Campaign has been shortlisted for the Human Rights 'Long Walk' Award in the Liberty Human Rights Awards.

Facebook joins call for urgent reform of the libel laws
Facebook has joined Yahoo!, AOL, Mumsnet and ISPA in calling on Prime Minister David Cameron for urgent reform of our libel laws.

Yahoo!, AOL, Mumsnet and ISPA write to the PM calling for libel reform
Yahoo!, AOL UK, Mumsnet and the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) have written an open letter to the Prime Minister David Cameron calling for urgent reform of our libel laws.

New guide to the libel laws for bloggers is being published today
The guide, entitled ‘So you’ve had a threatening letter. What can you do?’, is published following Sense About Science’s recent survey of the impact of the libel laws on online discussion.

Plastic surgeon threatened for comment on ‘Boob Job’ cream
One of Britain's leading consultant plastic surgeons has been threatened with libel action by the manufacturer of a £125 'Boob Job' cream for speaking out about her doubts of its effectiveness.

Department for Work and Pensions drops voice risk analysis lie detector
The technology was criticised by Francisco Lacerda, Professor of Linguistics at Stockholm University, in a review which concluded that there is no scientific evidence to show the technology works. The review article was removed after threats of libel actions.

Professor Edzard Ernst on how lack of evidence for homeopathy is potentially dangerous for patients
Response by Professor Edzard Ernst to advert in New Statesman, 11th October 2010

Prizes for Medical Writing Awarded by the Medico-Legal Society and the Society of Authors

Evidence-Based Medicine Matters

"Only since the advent of scientific medicine has life expectancy leapt forward..."

Read comments from over a hundred different people on why evidence-based medicine matters to them. To mark forty years since the Medicines Act (1968) doctors, scientists, nurses, patients, professional societies, journal editors, patient groups and other members of the public are providing compelling stories about why evidence-based medicine mattered then and matters now.

October 2010

Edinburgh Standing up for Science Media workshop
Our next Voice of Young Science media workshop is being held in Edinburgh on Friday 19th November. Application by CV and covering letter by Friday 5th November.

September 2010

Medical practitioners should have medical training
VoYS objects to Department of Health proposed registration scheme

August 2010

For the record: junk food has not been shown to lead to allergies
A couple of recent articles in the papers have linked junk food to allergies.

July 2010

Government's response to Parliamentary report 'Evidence check 2: homeopathy'
The Government response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report, which recommended that the NHS should cease funding homeopathy, was published on 26 July 2010.

Sense About Science win Health Charity of the Year at MJA 2010 Awards
We were honoured to win Health Charity of the Year last night at the MJA 2010 Awards for our work campaigning to reform England's libel laws.

for the record: shopping receipts can't cause impotence
An article in The Telegraph outlined how researchers had linked bisphenol A [BPA] in the ink from till receipts to the suppression of male hormones in the body.

June 2010

Join us at ESOF
We will be holding two panelled sessions at ESOF 2010 (Euroscience Open Forum) in Turin on 4th and 5th July: Warriors Against Claptrap and What’s up with Peer review?

Response to Consultation on Professional Guidance for Pharmacists in Northern Ireland on the provision of homeopathic products within a pharmacy

May 2010

The Week
Read our new blog

Comment on closure of HRH Foundation for Integrated Health
Read our comments

April 2010

Making Sense of Statistics
This guide, published in April 2010, is not a lesson in statistics. It provides the questions to ask and identifies the pitfalls to avoid to help us get behind news stories that use statistics.

Making Sense of Statistics in an election
In the lead up to the 2010 General Elections, we released a new guide, Making Sense of Statistics in an election.

Libel Reform Campaign Free Speech Hustings
The Libel Reform Campaign hosted the general election 2010 Free Speech hustings at the Free Word Centre on Wednesday 21st April 2010

BCA drop libel case against Simon Singh
On April 15th The British Chiropractic Association dropped its libel case with science writer Simon Singh.

Standing up for Science session in Boston
Sense About Science and Elsevier are holding a discussion session on science and the media for early career researchers in all sciences, engineering and medicine at the MIT Museum in connection with the Cambridge Science Festival.

Judgment in Simon Singh libel case
The judgment in science writer Simon Singh’s appeal in his libel case with the British Chiropractic Association was handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday 1st April.

March 2010

The government has released its version of the principles for independent scientific advice
On 24th March 2010 the UK Government published their finalised version of the Principles of Scientific Advice to Government.

Mass Parliamentary lobby for libel law reform
Hundreds of advocates for libel law reform came to Parliament for a mass lobby of parliament to hear what the three main political parties are doing for libel law reform and to meet their own MPs.

Researcher tells MPs of lie detector criticsms silenced by libel laws
Professor Francisco Lacerda meets MPs in the House of Commons to discuss how the libel laws are damaging science abroad as well as in the UK

Annual lecture 2010
It’s time to stand up for science once more, by Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the BMJ

February 2010

Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report on Press Standards, Privacy and Libel
The Libel Reform Campaign has welcomed the report by a group of influential MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee as ‘a great starting point to ensure a once in a generation overhaul of our libel laws.’

Simon Singh appeal hearing
One of the most significant trials for free speech and science this year appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday 23rd February.

MPs urge government to withdraw NHS funding and MHRA licensing of homepoathy
On 22nd February 2010 the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee published their report to an enquiry: "Evidence Check: Homeopathy"

Prosecution of herbal practitioner
Read our response following the judgement of the case of Ying "Susan" Wu at the Old Bailey, for selling pills containing the banned substance aristolochic acid to a civil servant, resulting in kidney failure and cancer.

Homeopathy in the news

January 2010

Celebrities and Science 2009
Every year we review celebrities’ dodgy science claims - from special diets and ‘miracle’ cures to chemicals, vaccines and evolution - and ask scientists what they should have said instead.

December 2009

Response to '100 reasons why global warming is natural'
The Daily Express published a front page article 1 with an accompanying report by the European Foundation detailing the “100 reasons why global warming is natural”.

Launch of Coalition for Libel Reform
In December 2009, Sense About Science, Index on Censorship and English PEN launched the Libel Reform Campaign

November 2009

Evidence Check: Homeopathy
In October 2009 the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee announced the inquiry "Evidence Check: Homeopathy" as part of its work to assess the Government's use of evidence in policy-making.

Sense About Systematic Reviews
This 'Sense About' publication is an introduction to the way in which scientists interpret all of the research done in a particular field

Principles for the treatment of Independent Scientific Advice
Sense About Science and the scientific community persuaded the Government to include principles for the treatment of independent advice into the Minsterial Code in 2010.

October 2009

Comment from Sense About Science on the sacking of Professor David Nutt
Sense About Science's response to the sacking of Professor David Nutt

Making Sense of Screening
Published on 22 October 2009, this guide weighs up the benefits and harms of health screening programmes

September 2009

Lib Dems make a commitment to libel law reform
The Liberal Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favour of libel law reform at their party conference on Sunday 20th September 2009.

Richard Dawkins addresses the Lib Dems on libel reform
On Sunday 20th September, Professor Richard Dawkins put the case for libel law reform to the Liberal Democrat conference while proposing an amendment to the civil liberties bill.

Scientific advice in Europe
A statement from President Barroso on the case for better use of science in European policy.

Should I give my body a full MOT?
On 15th September, medical physicists, doctors and healthcare providers will debate this rise in whole body "MOTs", in a free public event organised by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) and Sense About Science.

Peer Review Survey 2009
The preliminary findings of one of the largest ever international surveys of authors and reviewers are released today.

Science Fact or Science Fiction: Should Peer Review stop Plagiarism, Bias or Fraud
Join us at the British Science Festival to discuss the latest findings from our Peer Review Survey 2009.

August 2009

WHO responds to young medics call to condemn promotion of homeopathy for serious diseases
The WHO has responded to the open letter and said that it DOES NOT recommend the use of homeopathy for treating HIV, TB, malaria, influenza and infant diarrhoea. The Voice of Young Science network, has written to the health ministers of all countries to publicise the WHO’s position, asking them to combat the promotion of homeopathy for these dangerous diseases.

Criticisms of FSA organic study unfounded
In an article entitled "A cancerous conspiracy to poison your faith in organic food" 1, Joanna Blythman criticises the most recent study from the Food Standards Agency, which compared the nutritional content of organic and non-organic food. She claims that some studies were overlooked and that the pesticides in non-organic food "promote cancer". Here, two scientists respond to these claims.

July 2009

Research claims about parabens overstated
An Article from the Daily Mail outlined concerns over links between parabens in toiletries and cancer.

Dr Gary Moss (School of Pharmacy, University of Hertfordshire), and Dr Simon Wilkinson (Newcastle University) respond here.

June 2009

Autism-beating diets offer false hope
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick responds to a Daily Mail article about Diet and Autism.

Homeopathy not advised for ovarian cysts
Professor John Guillebaud writes For The Record.

BCA v Singh
We have joined with English PEN and Index on Censorship in a coalition to campaign for libel reform. Together, as a coalition, we are campaigning for major libel law reform.

Young medics call on WHO to condemn homeopathy promotion for HIV and malaria
In a letter to the World Health Organisation today, early career medics and researchers are calling for the body to issue a clear international communication about the inappropriate use of homeopathy for five serious diseases.

May 2009

Sir John Maddox 1925 - 2009
A message from our chairman

Upcoming Standing up for Science Media Workshop
The next workshop in London for early career researchers in the life and bioengineering sciences will be on 19th June

Our peer review resource for schools.
Read about it in the latest issue of The Scientist

April 2009

Swine flu pandemic alert raised to level 5
This means that the virus has spread from human to human in at least two countries. Nothing about the harmfulness of the virus has changed.

For the record: Swine 'flu
120 million deaths is calculated by assuming that everyone in the world catches swine 'flu.

Is there a link between patients receiving treatment and the cannabis downgrade?
Professor David Nutt responds to a Daily Mail story about this.

Next Standing up for Science Workshop
This workshop will be held in London for physical and chemical sciences and engineering on Friday 8th May.

Steroid use amongst 11 year olds
Metro published a story entitled "Steroid junkies at the age of 11". Michael Blastland explains why the headline misrepresents the existing data.

Making Sense of GM - responses
Response from Sense About Science to Private Eye in relation to a comment published in the Books and Book Men section:

March 2009

Little atoms interview with Tracey Brown
Tracey Brown, Managing Director of Sense About Science, talks frankly with Neil Denny and Padraig Reidy on Resonance FM about evidence, scientific reasoning, nutty websites and funding issues.

Duchy Originals forced to withdraw herbal product claims
Duchy Originals has been forced to change the wording on its internet adverts for the Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-Lift Tincture.

Prince of Wales criticised for dodgy detox product
Following on from VoYS recent investigation into detox products, Professor Edzard Ernst has criticised the Prince of Wales and his company Duchy Originals for selling a herbal detox tincture made with globe artichoke and dandelion.

February 2009

Tackling miracle-cure web scams
Sense About Science welcomes the OFT's new website initiative on miracle cures.

Manchester VoYS Standing up for Science Media workshop
Our next workshop is being held in Manchester on Friday 27th March. Application by CV and covering letter by Friday 13th March.

Making Sense of GM
Sense About Science has published a public quide on what is the genetic modification of plants and why are scientists doing it?

Standing up for Science 2 - the nuts and bolts
VoYS have launched their latest publication to help other early career scientists, engineers, medics and others who want to promote good science and fight misinformation.

Publish or be damned: peer review, the public and you
What does peer review do for science? Is maverick science rejected? Does peer review matter to the public?

January 2009

Nuclear Fusion
Click the Nuclear Information Library for an updated statement on the search for new energy sources

Detox Dossier
'Detox' has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning. Today young scientists and engineers are publishing a dossier on their hunt for the evidence behind detox claims made for products and diets, and beginning a campaign to alert the public.

December 2008

Science & Celebrities 2008
People in the public eye are often drawn to promoting theories, therapies and campaigns that make no scientific sense. Two years on we review progress: are celebrities checking their science 'facts'?

'Research, publishing it, reviewing it and talking publicly about it' Workshop 2009
We are continuing to pilot our new workshops on Research, publishing it, reviewing it and talking publicly about it for early career scientists and engineers. The next one is on Friday 23 January, 2009.

Application is with CV and covering letter by Thursday 15 January. To find out more information or apply please contact {encode="[email protected]" title="James Emmanuel"}.

MRI and EU regulations
Read an update on MRI and EU regulations.

Christmas Reading Room 2008 is now open!
Sense About Science's famous Christmas Reading room is now open! We've collected reading recommendations from some of Sense About Science's Trustees, Advisory Council, Staff and friends and if you buy your Christmas gifts from Amazon using the Sense About Science link, part of the proceeds go to Sense About Science.

November 2008

Job Opportunity: Public Liaison
We have a vacancy for the role of Public Liaison. Application deadline is the 24th November.

I've got nothing to lose by trying it - A guide to weighing up claims about cures and treatments
Published today, it explains how to tell the beneficial from the bogus in the face of the miracle cure stories, new wonder-drugs and breakthrough therapies that are increasingly promoted.

October 2008

Peer Review Education Resource
The Peer Review Education Resource for Key Stage 4 teachers is now live!

Making Sense of Radiation
Scientists, engineers and medical professionals have come together to counter public misinformation about radiation and health effects.

Job Opportunity: Communications Officer
We have a vacancy for a Communications Officer. Application deadline is 17th October.

September 2008

Should pregnant women avoid perfumes?
Professor Richard Sharpe puts the record straight on recent media reports of his research.

July 2008

Are mercury fillings dangerous?
The Daily Mail published a story titled " 'Hidden danger' of mercury leaking from dental fillings". Professor Aubrey Sheiham, Professor of Dental Public Health from the Department of Epidemiology at UCL, replies.

Comment on new Consumer Protection Regulations
Frank Swain and Leonor Sierra argue that the new Consumer Protection Regulations could devalue the true meaning of 'scientifically-proven'.

June 2008

Chlorinated water and birth defects
Recent articles in the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail claimed that new research suggested "drinking tap water while pregnant may double the risk of serious heart or brain defects in the unborn child".

May 2008

MRI and Safety
Radiologists respond to misleading comments about the effects of MRI scanners

Brain Gym
Sense About Science has been receiving calls from parents and teachers who are concerned about the use of ‘Brain Gym’ - a programme of teacher-led physical exercises claimed to improve cognitive abilities - in primary schools.

April 2008

Does mother's diet affect a baby's sex?
A recent study suggested that a mother's energy intake around conception can exert an influence on the sex of the baby. How such an effect is exerted is unknown, but the chances are that diet influences which sperm fertilises the egg rather than affecting survival/implantation of the fertilised egg.

March 2008

Making Sense of Testing
Leading medical bodies, clinicians and scientists are alerting the public and policy makers to the potential damage caused by health tests and scans for well people and the need for a national system to evaluate laboratory tests.

Lecture 2008
"What is Science and Why Should We Care?", by Professor Alan Sokal, was held on Wednesday 28th Feb at University College London.

February 2008

Alan Sokal Podcast
In a podcast released today, Alok Jha interviews Alan Sokal. You can tune in via the Guardian website.

Manchester Standing up for Science Media Workshop Friday 18th April
We are holding our next VoYS Standing up for Science Media Workshop on Friday 18th April at Manchester University. Applicants need to apply with a covering letter and CV by Friday 28th March.

January 2008

Alice discovers her inner elf
Thanks to your donations, Alice was able to discover her inner elf, as she was coerced into dressing up as one of Santa's little helpers for our end-of-year funding drive. Alice entertained small children and amused tourists as she posed for pictures in Piccadilly Circus...

Celebrities and Science 2007
People in the public eye are often drawn to promoting theories, therapies and campaigns that make no scientific sense. One year on we review progress: are celebrities checking their science 'facts'?

December 2007

Were Britons healthier in Mediaeval times?
Professor Raymond Tallis responds to a Telegraph article which reported the medieval diet to be by far the healthiest for the average man.

Parabens in cosmetics: office experiment
We were interested to see for ourselves what would happen to a simple body cream if it was truly preservative-free. You can follow the progress of our experiment online.

Skin creams
A Which? article (20th December, 2007) reported in the Times and the Daily Mail discussed scientific evidence and skin care products. Because it cited Sense Abut Science, we would like to clarify our view.

Christmas Reading Room
Sense About Science's famous Christmas Reading Room is now open! See what books senior scientists, staff, friends and colleagues are recommending this year.

October 2007

There Goes the Science Bit...
A group of young scientists hunt for the evidence behind advertising claims.

September 2007

Standing Up for Science Media Workshop
Media workshop for early career researchers.

Food Additives Briefing
We have asked some of the specialists to provide some straightforward answers about the science behind food preservation, E-numbers and safety.

July 2007

Threat to good science in policy making
The Government has proposed plans to dissolve the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

VoYS workshop
Our most recent VoYS workshop held on 18th May 2007 for biological sciences and engineering students at The Institute of Biology.

May 2007

We have added a new information resource on MMR research from Sense, a charity which provides support to deaf-blind people -- many of whom have been disabled by rubella. Their policy briefing describes the history of the vaccine and the latest research on MMR.

March 2007

Weather and Climate
Sense About Science's public guide to weather and climate predictions was launched by leading experts in Oxford.

January 2007

Sense About... Science for Celebrities
People in the public eye are often drawn into promoting theories, therapies, and campaigns that make no scientific sense. Check out our new leaflet which shows how easily some mistakes could have been avoided. Now it’s possible to check the facts before going public. Hundreds of scientists from many fields are available to help you get it right for the public. It costs a phone call.

November 2006

Help Sense About Science through your Christmas Shopping!
Buy your Christmas gifts from using the Sense About Science link and part of the proceeds go to Sense About Science.

MRI update
There has been some encouraging progress in efforts to ensure that the Physical Agents Directive does not damage MRI research or clinical use.

October 2006

New regulations on licensing of homeopathy
New regulations permit homeopathic products to make medical claims without scientific evidence.

September 2006

Standing up for Science
Sense About Science has today published a guide to the media for early scientists.

Sense About... Homeopathy
Read our new briefing document on homeopathy

New regulations on licensing of homeopathy
These regulations permit the use of homeopathic 'provings' as evidence that homeopathy works and allows marketing of homeopathic products for particular illnesses.

July 2006

Award for Sense About Science Chairman
Lord Taverne is the Association of British Science Writers' Parliamentary Science Communicator of the Year, 2005. He collected his award at the ABSW award ceremony on 19th July 2006.

Award for Sense About Science Chairman
Lord Taverne is the Association of British Science Writers' Parliamentary Science Communicator of the Year, 2005. He collected his award at the ABSW award ceremony on 19th July 2006.

Malaria experts are warning travellers against unsafe health advice
Unproven homeopathic products offer no protection from malaria or other tropical diseases.

June 2006

MRI News
The Science & Technology Select Committee reported on their enquiry into the Government's use of scientific advice on the Physical Agents Directive.

April 2006

Briefing note on bird flu
Sense About Science has published a briefing note about bird flu.

March 2006

Scientific advice, impartiality and policy
The Sense About Science inaugural lecture was given by Sir John Krebs.

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