How to get a message across in Twitter – Ben Goldacre on the NHS

Can you communicate complex ideas on Twitter? Well, it’s tough in 140 characters, but it is surprising how much you can do in a few tweets.

This was a great example, from Ben Goldacre, author of “Bad Science”. As his website says, “Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims from drug companies, newspapers, government reports, PR people and quacks. Unpicking bad science is the best way to explain good science”.

Here are his five Tweets explaining the central problem with the changes to the UK's health service as he sees it.



We won’t  into the full rights and wrongs of the changes that are currently being debated in Parliament, other than to say we’ve worried from the beginning about the capability of the GPs (“family doctors”) to become expert commissioners of services. So it was interesting to see that is at the heart of Goldacre’s concerns. And what a good example he's given of effective communication in just a few words.

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Voices (5)

  1. David Atkinson:

    Twitter is great. Get with the programme.

    As for ben Goldacre; he’s bang on the money.

    If health insurance becomes near-mandatory (if you want looking after when your ill), then I’m looking forward to my £1000+ a year (or £4000+ for the family) tax/NI rebate, as clearly my money won’t be needed by the DoH.

  2. Plan Bee:

    Not a great fan of twitter, but isnt the point of it that you get your idea or point across in 140 characters, not 6 x 140= 840

    1. Huhh?:


  3. TripleDistilled:

    For “Five”, read “Six” 🙂

    1. TripleDistilled:

      And I clearly should have read the Tweets before deciding to be clever, let this be a lesson to us all!

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