Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud

Paperback | October 15, 2001

byRobert L. Park

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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.

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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...

Robert L. Park is Professor of Physics and former chairman of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. He also directs the Washington Office of the American Physical Society. He is a prolific writer of op-eds for The New York Times and other papers, and a regular contributor of science features for The Washington Pos...

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Format:PaperbackPublished:October 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195147103

ISBN - 13:9780195147100

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"In Voodoo Science, Robert Park demonstrates how even science itself sometimes gets put in the service of delusion and self-delusion. From Star Wars to cold fusion, EMFs to UFOs, these dipatches from the front lines of scientific foolishness reveal how the things we want to believe often keepus from learning the things we need to know."--K.C. Cole, author of the bestseller The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty