Evidence matters to the public

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What Works Global Summit. Register now.

Putting evidence at the heart of policy and practice. 26th - 28th September.

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Plant Science Panel

Insecticides, biofuels, GMOs …

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'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

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Ask for Evidence case studies

We'd really like to hear your stories: report@senseaboutscience.org


Helen WilkesHelen Wilkes questions the claim that a machine can improve asthma sufferers’ quality of life by 15%. Jamie HorderAre inarticulate children twice as likely to be unemployed in their thirties? Jamie Horder asked for evidence for the claim.

Daniel AmundDaniel Amund asked for evidence behind the claim from a dating website that a genetic compatibility test would result in a more successful relationship.

Heather EyreCan a face cream make you look 10 years younger in 40 seconds? Heather Eyre asked for evidence to see how.

Rita  JorgePlanet Organic removed one of their information leaflets after Rita Jorge asked how wheatgrass juice could "remove poisons from the blood stream".   Tamlyn PeelTamlyn Peel found that the benefits of glucosamine for healthy patients were unclear.  

George Inglis asked for evidence for the claim that the Bowen Technique can help treat his Crohn's disease.

Jessica Barton is still waiting for evidence from Neal’s Yard Remedies that abund bush flower essence can “release negative beliefs, family patterns, sabotage and fear of lack”.
Peter CrowtherPeter Crowther saw an advertisement for a joint maintenance product, and decided to ask for evidence for the claims. 
Rhys MorganThe Food Standards Agency banned a miracle cure for Crohn’s disease, after Rhys Morgan found evidence that it contained bleach and reported it to Trading Standards. 
Blanka SengerovaDr Blanka Sengerova is still waiting for evidence of efficacy after noticing that the main ingredient in a skin cream was a protein that is too big to pass through the skin barrier.  Bridget OgilvieProfessor Dame Bridget Ogilvie agreed to have post-surgery chemotherapy after her oncologist showed her evidence of increased life expectancy. 
Kathy Grant sent several Sense About Science guides to the organisers of a marathon after receiving a participant pack full of claims about chemicals and supplements.  The government told Lord Krebs that class size does not affect pupil attainment beyond reception year, but he found that this was not the whole story. 
Simon ShearsNo one at Trevor Sorbie was able to provide Simon Shears with any scientific reason for calling their shampoo a `detox’ shampoo. Sparkle Ward

Head of CBI, John Cridland, has yet to back-up his claim that major investment in infrastructure can revive economic activity when asked by Sparkle Ward for the evidence.

Jaime Earnest

Dr Jaime Earnest wrote to the production company of a morning chat show after seeing confusing and misleading comments about the side effects and risks of childhood vaccinations.

Harriet Ball

Nestle Ski were unable to give Dr Harriet Ball any evidence for the claim that their yoghurt can “optimise the release of energy from our diet”. 

Tom SheldonTom Sheldon found the evidence for a software program claiming to modulate the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation to be anecdotal, subjective, and unreliable. 
Rob Hagen

Dr Rob Hagan found that that the World Health Organisation offered no guidelines regarding the use of homeopathy as a treatment for serious diseases. 

Sarah WalkerSarah Walker found that much of the research was still to be published or peer reviewed for the `Massage in Schools’ programme. 

Roger DettmerRoger Dettmer is still waiting for a response from the M&S press office about the claim that the M&S “Heatgen” brand of clothes could “generate heat”, but the ASA now says M&S are withdrawing their claim.

Morgan ThompsonMorgan Thompson found no peer-reviewed evidence for claims made for a breast enhancement cream.

Joanna ChristodoulouJoanna Christodoulou asked for evidence for the claim that a device that shines light into your ears could relieve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Duncan CaseyDuncan Casey found that the study cited by a Minister to prove the effectiveness of a new phonics reading test was about how to successfully carry out the test, rather than results.
Jennifer Lardge

Dr Jennifer Lardge found that a trial was underway, but not yet complete, for Marks & Spencer’s `MRSA resistant’ pyjamas. 

Margaret HeslinMargaret Heslin gets the evidence for Viagra prescription guidelines from the Department of Health.

Juliet StevensJuliet Stevens had a frustrating response when she asked for evidence behind an ultrasound examination that could ‘prevent’ an abdominal aneurysm.

Philippa SheltonPhilippa Shelton  was disappointed with the response from the NHS on their advice to drink 1.2 litres of water a day. Joanna-Marie HowesJoanna-Marie Howes wondered if there is evidence that a new mobile phone app could prevent “text neck” pain.
Annette DolphinAnnette Dolphin asked for evidence behind the claim that tourmaline in a watch could improve concentration.

Ali CooperIs Britain really the windiest country in Europe? Ali Cooper asks for the evidence.

Alice Tuff

Alice Tuff called the Pret A Manger customer helpline to point out that all food is made of chemicals, after seeing one of their leaflets suggesting they “shun obscure chemicals”.

Clare PearsonClare Pearson asked for evidence behind the claim on a herbal remedy that it would switch off the mind and give you a good night’s sleep.
Peter Crowther

Peter Crowther explains that the body doesn’t work as MediWise describe in an explanation of their pain relieving patch. 

Josephine Jones asked for evidence and found NPB Ionbalance germanium bracelets are not compliant with ASA standards. 
SparkleSparkle Ward asked for evidence for Vitabiotics’ claim that taking their supplements would improve athletic performance to gold-winning standard. Caroline Gill was shocked by the claim that London is the STI capital of Europe, and so asked the Terrence Higgins Trust for evidence.