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Book review: 'Science Tales' by Darryl Cunningham

'A lovely book which combines its no-nonsense approach with a funny, pro-science attitude' says Edzard Ernst

Darryl Cunningham has given us a truly lovely book! Essentially, it contains a series of clever cartoons which tackle important issues with lots of humour. They skilfully direct us to the heart of the matter, stimulate critical thinking and debunk common myths, many of which are related to healthcare. Most importantly, they amuse us and thus make potentially boring subjects enjoyable.

In this book, Cunningham's cartoons tell us 8 stories: electroconvulsive therapy; homeopathy; the facts on the case of Dr Wakefield; the moon hoax; climate change; evolutions; chiropractic; and science denial. Each story is only about 20 pages long and explains complex issues simply but accurately. Cunningham takes a "no nonsense approach" and has a refreshing pro-science attitude. The best weapon against quackery, he seems to think, it is poke fun at it.

I predict that homeopaths and chiropractors will not like this book. Everyone else, however, should have a good look at it – chances are, you will love it, simply because it is lovely.

Professor Edzard Ernst is professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter

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