- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Simon and Schuster (1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671447696
- ISBN-13: 978-0671447694
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Betrayers of the truth Paperback – 1983
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Top Customer Reviews
I'd like to see a new edition of this, with coherent beginning-to-end coverage of some of the high-profile cases that have surfaced in the years since its original publication. Younger scientists may have a hard time piecing together a complete story from the fragments of coverage in the news and in trade magazines.
Authors: William Broad and Nicholas Wade
Reviewer: William P. Palmer
Betrayers of the Truth is on the first reading a pleasant, light, easy to read book, with an interesting and true series of stories to tell. Its topic is that of scientists who used underhand means to try to achieve their ambitions of fame and fortune: some were successful in this aim and their fraud may not have been discovered until many years after their death: others were caught red-handed in their deceit. For some of the scientists one may feel at least a twinge of human sympathy: others seem to deserve all they got.
So, on the basis of the well-told histories of a large number of fraudulent scientists alone, I can certainly recommend this book. However there is a deeper level at which the book is also fascinating. It explores a niche between the sociology of science and the philosophy of science, which is seldom explored. By focusing on bad and dishonest science it casts light upon the nature of good and truthful science and helps us see the problems in what we call scientific method. The authors consider "the scientific method" to be a polite fiction, largely a product of a uniform style of reporting science insisted upon by refereed journals when reporting scientific results.
What types of fraud are there? The authors quote Babbage (the inventor of the calculating machine) as categorising scientific fraud as "trimming" (clipping bits off results above the average and adding them to results below the average), "cooking" or selective reporting (utilising only some of a large number of observations) or forging (extracting numbers from thin air).
How does science protect itself against fraud?Read more ›
- Ptolemy who took the credit from another Greek astronomer, Hipparchus;
- Galileo, father of empiricism, who's experiments defied replication;
- Newton who, from his lofty seat as president of the Royal Society, accused Leibniz of
plagiary while doctoring supporting measurements to make his own Principia more
From there the author describes more modern plagiarism and outright deceit within the scientific community.
This is a great read for those seeking a career in the sciences or in engineering.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good brief overview of scientific fraud, now (2015) a bit datedPublished 2 months ago by Clyde Willson
In the course of researching scientific retractions I have taken to reading much literature about the hows and whys of scientific deception. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. M. Stahl
This is a fascinating and thought-provoking expose that is just as relevant today as when it was published. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Maria TM
If you at all interested in Fraud in Science then this book is for you, and in my opinion is the best single-volume treatment of this fascinating and disturbing topic. Read morePublished 9 months ago by John M Ballard
A good book for the devotees of scientism who make peer reviewed science an idol. Fraud has been more common in science than many realize and it has come from some of the big... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joe O
The content of the book is extremely interesting, that is why I ordered it in the first place.
But as the seller mentioned "very good condition, some cosmetic wear,... Read more
Well-written and honest evaluation of the dishonesty that is sometimes evidenced in scientific circles, showing peer review is not necessarily a self-correcting process.Published 18 months ago by Dr. John S. Waldrip
I purchased Betrayers of the Truth based solely on a recommendation by Russell Blaylock, MD, who mentioned it in one of his books. Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by BigHeart
I can hardly recommend this highly enough. It's interesting for anyone interested in science as a process and it's essential reading for anyone intending to do research. Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Steven Daedalus