Voodoo Science

Voodoo Science

The Road From Foolishness to Fraud

Book - 2000
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In a time of dazzling scientific progress, how can we separate genuine breakthroughs from the noisy gaggle of false claims? From Deepak Chopra's "quantum alternative to growing old" to unwarranted hype surrounding the International Space Station, Robert Park leads us down the back alleys offringe science, through the gleaming corridors of Washington power and even into our evolutionary past to search out the origins of voodoo science. Along the way, he offers simple and engaging science lessons, proving that you don't have to be a scientist to spot the fraudulent science that swirlsaround us. While remaining highly humorous, this hard-hitting account also tallies the cost: the billions spent on worthless therapies, the tax dollars squandered on government projects that are doomed to fail, the investors bilked by schemes that violate the most fundamental laws of nature. But thegreatest cost is human: fear of imaginary dangers, reliance on magical cures, and above all, a mistaken view of how the world works. To expose the forces that sustain voodoo science, Park examines the role of the media, the courts, bureaucrats and politicians, as well as the scientific community. Scientists argue that the cure is to raise general scientific literacy. But what exactly should a scientifically literate societyknow? Park argues that the public does not need a specific knowledge of science so much as a scientific world view--an understanding that we live in an orderly universe governed by natural laws that cannot be circumvented.
Publisher: [S.l.] : Oxford University Press, 2000
ISBN: 9780195147100
0195147103
Characteristics: 230 p.

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masonrobert068
Mar 15, 2015

This is a terrific work, going beyond similar debunking books, offering real insights and clear analyses of what science is and what quasi-science is. A must read for those on the fence regarding, for example, homeopathy.

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no2squaredrive
Dec 06, 2013

Not all the reported results of science can be trusted. This book examines why not and how not. And does so by looking at examples we all might recognize. Some scientists are led by over eagerness to false results. (cold fusion) Some by money. (Tabacco industry studies of health) And some con men use the prestige of science to sell shoddy goods. The author details such stories to show the effort and care it takes the get results that hold up to time and review - and makes science seem a very human endeavor.

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