Past Seminars Seminários Já Decorridos 2013

Fake science everywhere - Scientists must engage in the public debate to promote scientific culture

By: David Marçal
From: Associação Viver a Ciência
At: Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar, Anfiteatro
[2013-01-15] 14:00

We find numerous scientific frauds on the Internet, of which the video that shows corn grains turning into popcorn due to mobile phone radiation is a good example. There is also plenty of nonsense in the media, starting with horoscopes. The supermarket shelves are filled with false promises of preventive medicine, of which the “yogurtegate” is one of the wildest. But, amazingly, false science is also practiced and taught in some schools. And it is far more common in health matters than one may think. Neither journals nor universities get away, since they also have a good collection of frauds, which sooner or later turn out to be discovered. There are no safe places. The only escape lies in a critical attitude and scientific culture. Unfortunately, knowledge of the scientific process if often scarce among lay people. Therefore, scientists must engage in public debate. If not, others will assume take their place and propagate a distorted version of science, fit to their goals.