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Voodoo science : the road from foolishness to fraud

Author: Robert L Park
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In a time of dazzling scientific progress, how are we to separate genuine breakthroughs from the noisy gaggle of false claims? Touching on everything from Deepak Chopra's "quantum alternative to growing old" and "free energy" machines to unwarranted hype surrounding the International Space Station, Robert L. Park leads us through the dim back alleys of fringe science, down the gleaming corridors of Washington  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Robert L Park
ISBN: 0198507453 9780198507451 0195135156 9780195135152
OCLC Number: 47868284
Notes: Includes index.
Description: x, 230 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: 1 It's Not News, It's Entertainment: In Which the Media Covers Voodoo Science 3 --
2 Belief Gene: In Which Science Offers a Strategy for Sorting Out the Truth 28 --
3 Placebos Have Side Effects: In Which People Tum to "Natural" Medicine 46 --
4 Virtual Astronaut: In Which People Dream of Artificial Worlds 68 --
5 There Ought To Be a Law: In Which Congress Seeks to Repeal the Laws of Thermodynamics 92 --
6 Perpetuum Mobile: In Which People Dream of Infinite Free Energy 111 --
7 Currents of Fear: In Which Power Lines Are Suspected of Causing Cancer 140 --
8 Judgment Day: In Which the Courts Confront "Junk Science" 162 --
9 Only Mushrooms Grow in the Dark: In Which Voodoo Science Is Protected by Official Secrecy 172 --
10 How Strange Is the Universe? In Which Ancient Superstitions Reappear as Pseudoscience 192.
Responsibility: Robert L. Park.

Abstract:

"In a time of dazzling scientific progress, how are we to separate genuine breakthroughs from the noisy gaggle of false claims? Touching on everything from Deepak Chopra's "quantum alternative to growing old" and "free energy" machines to unwarranted hype surrounding the International Space Station, Robert L. Park leads us through the dim back alleys of fringe science, down the gleaming corridors of Washington power, and even into our evolutionary past to search out the origins of voodoo science. Along the way, Park offers some simple and engaging science lessons, showing us that you don't have to be a scientist to spot the foolish and fraudulent science that swirls around us." "To expose the forces that sustain voodoo science, Park closely examines the role of the media, the courts, bureaucrats, and politicians, as well as the scientific community. Scientists, he observes, insist that the cure for voodoo science is to raise the general scientific literacy. But what is it that a scientifically literate society should know? It is not specific knowledge of science the public needs, Park argues, so much as a scientific world view - an understanding that we live in an orderly universe governed by natural laws that cannot be circumvented by magic or miracles."--Jacket.

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