Wednesday, 28 January 2009

What is this blog about?

I've finally decided to start a blog, having wanted to do so for a while and having admired the work of other bloggers such as Gimpy, David Colquhoun, Le Canard Noir, JDC, Holfordwatch, DrT, and of course Ben Goldacre

You'll notice something that these blogs all have in common. They're aimed at examing and taking apart the false claims of quacks and cranks around the world, from alternative therapists, through nutritionists to religious nuts... the generally hard of thinking.

This blog will be along similar lines, perhaps picking up the odd story the others don't and adding a different perspective to them.

Oh, and why the name "Cargo Cult Science"? Well, if you haven't come across that term before it comes from one of my scientific heroes - the physicist Richard Feynman. He coined the term at his commencement speech at Caltech in 1974:

There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in "cargo cult science"... It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards... For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it... Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.

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