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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.
Voodoo Science Park started life as a poetic film about the science of accident investigation practised by the Health and Safety Laboratory in the Peak District of England. In the book of the film, Victoria Halford and Steve Beard reveal the thinking that went into the preparation of the script. The Health and Safety Lab is the place where large-scale accidents such as tunnel collapses, fires and rail crashes are recreated to examine their destructive pathways. Halford and Beard explore the connections with imitative magic, drawing on the secret histories of dissident religious sects, miners and shamans as well as the prophecies of William Blake. They rethink the lab’s industrial safety rigs as monstrous emblems of the state, as theorised by Thomas Hobbes, and retrace the steps of a journey the political philosopher took through the hollow lands of the Peak in 1626. Testimony from highwaymen, ramblers and urban explorers is collected along the way. The book is composed in a fragmentary style, which weaves together philosophy, travelogue, history of science, sociology and religious study.
An overdue indictment of government, industry, and faith groups that twist science for their own gain. During the next thirty years, the American public will suffer from a rampage against reason by special interests in government, commerce, and the faith industry, and the rampage has already begun. In Junk Science, Dan Agin offers a response—a stinging condemnation of the egregious and constant warping of science for ideological gain. In this provocative, wide-ranging, and hard-hitting book, Agin argues from the center that we will pay a heavy price for the follies of people who consciously twist the public's understanding of the real world. In an entertaining but frank tone, Agin separates fact from conveniently "scientific" fiction and exposes the data faking, reality ignoring, fear mongering, and outright lying that contribute to intentionally manufactured public ignorance. Many factions twist scientific data to maintain riches and power, and Agin outs them all in sections like these: --"Buyer Beware" (genetically modified foods, aging, and tobacco companies) --"Medical Follies" (chiropractics, health care, talk therapy) --"Poison and Bombs in the Greenhouse" (pollution, warfare, global warming) --"Religion, Embryos, and Cloning" --"Genes, Behavior, and Race" We already pay a heavy price for many groups' conscious manipulation of the public's understanding of science, and Junk Science arms us with understanding, cutting through the fabric of lies and setting the record straight.
All researchers need to write or speak about their work, and to have research that is worth presenting. Based on the author's decades of experience as a researcher and advisor, this third edition provides detailed guidance on writing and presentations and a comprehensive introduction to research methods, the how-to of being a successful scientist. Topics include: · Development of ideas into research questions; · How to find, read, evaluate and referee other research; · Design and evaluation of experiments and appropriate use of statistics; · Ethics, the principles of science and examples of science gone wrong. Much of the book is a step-by-step guide to effective communication, with advice on: · Writing style and editing; · Figures, graphs and tables; · Mathematics and algorithms; · Literature reviews and referees’ reports; · Structuring of arguments and results into papers and theses; · Writing of other professional documents; · Presentation of talks and posters. Written in an accessible style and including handy checklists and exercises, Writing for Computer Science is not only an introduction to the doing and describing of research, but is a valuable reference for working scientists in the computing and mathematical sciences.
Millions of people worldwide swear by such therapies as acupuncture, herbal cures, and homeopathic remedies. Indeed, complementary and alternative medicine is embraced by a broad spectrum of society, from ordinary people, to scientists and physicians, to celebrities such as Prince Charles and Oprah Winfrey. In the tradition of Michael Shermers Why People Believe Weird Things and Robert Parks's Voodoo Science, Barker Bausell provides an engaging look at the scientific evidence for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and at the logical, psychological, and physiological pitfalls that lead otherwise intelligent people--including researchers, physicians, and therapists--to endorse these cures. The books ultimate goal is to reveal not whether these therapies work--as Bausell explains, most do work, although weakly and temporarily--but whether they work for the reasons their proponents believe. Indeed, as Bausell reveals, it is the placebo effect that accounts for most of the positive results. He explores this remarkable phenomenon--the biological and chemical evidence for the placebo effect, how it works in the body, and why research on any therapy that does not factor in the placebo effect will inevitably produce false results. By contrast, as Bausell shows in an impressive survey of research from high-quality scientific journals and systematic reviews, studies employing credible placebo controls do not indicate positive effects for CAM therapies over and above those attributable to random chance. Here is not only an entertaining critique of the strangely zealous world of CAM belief and practice, but it also a first-rate introduction to how to correctly interpret scientific research of any sort. Readers will come away with a solid understanding of good vs. bad research practice and a healthy skepticism of claims about the latest miracle cure, be it St. John's Wort for depression or acupuncture for chronic pain.

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