Sunday, 29 March 2009

Jayney Goddard - How to become a daytime TV expert.

(From May 2008)

We are told that Jayney was "recently awarded a Professorship from Mahendra Sanskrit University in Kathmandu, Kingdom of Nepal". The university was set up to promote the Sanskrit language in Nepal. However, when I tried to contact the University to find out more about Jayney's Professorship, I found their website is permanently down. Unfortunately, it would appear that in 2002, a hoard of women Nepalese Maoist rebels reduced the University 'to cinder' and destroyed all the ancient Sanskrit texts, University buildings, furniture, and all university records. The rebels had previously planted a 'crude but powerful bomb' there too.

It is not clear if Jayney Goddard makes frequent visits to fulfil her Professorial duties.

Read the complete post at The Quackometer.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Derek Draper - quack in a spin

(From Feb 2009)

You may remember that the BBC disgracefully employed the services of a quack psychoanalyst who, overcome with delusions of competence, blurted out inappropriate, unfounded and irresponsible comments on the mental health of the prime minister, Gordon Brown.

Now it turns out that the Labour Party are employing the services of a quack psychoanalyst of their own, former spin doctor Derek Draper, with all the problems that come with quacks. Such as honesty over qualifications.

Derek Draper in a recent Guardian profile claimed to have a MA in Clinical Psychology from Berkeley, University of California. Guido Fawkes has been doing some digging and found out that Mr Draper has not been entirely honest. It turns out that Berkeley have no record of Derek Draper and, as The Guardian report today, he actually received his degree from a private institution, the Wright Institute, which does not offer full time degrees, which no longer runs a full time MA, and has no affiliation with Berkeley, merely sharing a neighbourhood.

Derek Draper admits that while the Wright Institute have no academic connection with Berkeley “I did have the use of the facilities at the Berkeley campus.”, but his use of the gents at Berkeley has not prevented him from implying that he studied there on his website.

Read the complete post at Gimpy's Blog.

Ms Gillian McKeith - Banned From Calling Herself A Doctor!

Monday February 12, 2007
The Guardian - Ben Goldacre

Call her the Awful Poo Lady, call her Dr Gillian McKeith PhD: she is an empire, a multi-millionaire, a phenomenon, a prime-time TV celebrity, a bestselling author. She has her own range of foods and mysterious powders, she has pills to give you an erection, and her face is in every health food store in the country. Scottish Conservative politicians want her to advise the government. The Soil Association gave her a prize for educating the public. And yet, to anyone who knows the slightest bit about science, this woman is a joke.

One of those angry nerds took her down this week. A regular from my website - I can barely contain my pride - took McKeith to the Advertising Standards Authority, complaining about her using the title “doctor” on the basis of a qualification gained by correspondence course from a non-accredited American college. He won. She may have sidestepped the publication of a damning ASA draft adjudication at the last minute by accepting - “voluntarily” - not to call herself “doctor” in her advertising any more. But would you know it, a copy of that draft adjudication has fallen into our laps, and it concludes that “the claim ‘Dr’ was likely to mislead”. The advert allegedly breached two clauses of the Committee of Advertising Practice code: “substantiation” and “truthfulness”.

Read the complete post at

Friday, 6 March 2009

Patrick Holford’s CV: the strange case of Dr John Marks

(From Aug 2007)

There was some surprise when the University of Teesside recently appointed as a visiting professor, Patrick Holford, the “media nutritionist” and supplement salesman. This has elicited some indignation from within Teesside as well as without.

The CV that was submitted to the University of Teesside in support of his appointment at Teesside included the following glowing endorsement from “Dr John Marks, Life Fellow and former Director of Medical Studies, Cambridge University.”

There have been dramatic changes over the past decade in our views about healthcare and Patrick Holford has been right at the forefront of many of these changes, particularly with our revised appreciation of nutrition. The road to bad medicine and bad health is built on the foundation of dogma. It is refreshing to have this dogma subjected to fresh examination.
- Dr John Marks, Life Fellow and former Director of Medical Studies, Cambridge University

Dr Marks has now written to Holford to ask for the source of these quotations, having destroyed all his own records that relate to Holford some time ago.

Read the complete post at DC's IMPROBABLE SCIENCE.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Roy Rutherford (key Dore figure) has a misleading CV

Roy Rutherford - who was Medical Director of Dore, a company selling a ‘miracle cure‘ for various specific learning difficulties - is currently marketing his services as an ‘expert’ in treating such difficulties [PDF]. As one might expect to see in the CV of an expert, Rutherford refers to his

PhD thesis- Sheffield University:
Studying the role of the cerebellum in the neurodevelopmental disorders of Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADD/ADHD.

Read the full story at HOLFORDWATCH