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So much relies on science. But what if science itself can’t be relied on?
Medicine, education, psychology, health, parenting – wherever it really matters, we look to science for advice. Science Fictions reveals the disturbing flaws that undermine our understanding of all of these fields and more.
While the scientific method will always be our best and only way of knowing about the world, in reality the current system of funding and publishing science not only fails to safeguard against scientists’ inescapable biases and foibles, it actively encourages them. From widely accepted theories about ‘priming’ and ‘growth mindset’ to claims about genetics, sleep, microbiotics, as well as a host of drugs, allergies and therapies, we can trace the effects of unreliable, overhyped and even fraudulent papers in austerity economics, the anti-vaccination movement and dozens of bestselling books – and occasionally count the cost in human lives.
Stuart Ritchie has been at the vanguard of a new reform movement within science aimed at exposing and fixing these problems. In this vital investigation, he gathers together the evidence of their full and shocking extent and proposes a host of remedies to save and protect this most valuable of human endeavours from itself.
©Stuart Ritchie 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020