Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud

4.0 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195135152
ISBN-10: 0195135156
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
82 Used from $0.01
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
More Buying Choices
16 New from $2.21 82 Used from $0.01 4 Collectible from $9.85

There is a newer edition of this item:

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

"We Gon' Be Alright"
In these powerful essays Jeff Chang takes an incisive look at recent tragedies and widespread protests in the US. Learn more | Kindle book
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Scientific error, says Robert Park, "has a way of evolving ... from self-delusion to fraud. I use the term voodoo science to cover them all: pathological science, junk science, pseudoscience, and fraudulent science." In pathological science, scientists fool themselves. Junk science refers to scientists who use their expertise to befuddle and mislead others (usually juries or lawmakers). Pseudoscience has the trappings of science without any evidence. Fraudulent science is, well, fraud--old-fashioned lying.

Park is well-acquainted with voodoo science in all its forms. Since 1982, he has headed the Washington, D.C., office of the American Physical Society, and he has carried the flag for scientific rationality through cold fusion, homeopathy, "Star Wars," quantum healing, and sundry attempts to repeal the laws of thermodynamics. Park shows why a "disproportionate share of the science seen by the public is flawed" (because shaky science is more likely to skip past peer review and head straight for the media), and he gives a good tour of recent highlights in Voodoo. He has a rare ability to poke holes compassionately, without excoriating those taken in by their fondest wishes. Park is less forgiving of scientists (especially Edward Teller) when he thinks they've fallen down on the job, a job that should include helping the public separate the scientific wheat from the voodoo chaff. --Mary Ellen Curtin


"I would like to make this book compulsory reading for medical students in their first year ... With brilliant insight and clarity of prose, [Park] describes the inevitable consequences of a debate between the true believer and sceptics ... This book was a joy and an entertainment."--Healthwatch Newsletter


New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195135156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195135152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We live in the most technologically advanced country in the world, yet our citizens seem to be extremely scientifically illiterate. Does it seem possible that congress would hold a hearing on why a gentleman was refused a patent on a machine that seemingly has a higher energy output than input, which violates the first law of thermodynamics? I have often laughed at the Indiana legislature that many, many years ago passed a law fixing pi at 3.14. But here is Trent Lott and his pompous brethren now holding a hearing on a machine that the physicists of the nation have said is a fraud. As is typical at a congressional hearing the egocentric politicians made speeches instead of asking questions. Then Senator Glenn asked a few pertinent questions that caused the committee to finally sniff disaster. The matter was dropped. Later there was another hearing on the cold fusion matter in which congress was again embarrassed by its total scientific ignorance. How did our fine representatives react to being publicly humiliated by these science debacles? Well, in 1995 they abolished the Office of Technology Assessment whose purpose was to advise congress on scientific and technical issues. Why seek advice when you are already infallible?
This book provides the reader with a variety of scientific frauds that have hoodwinked not only congress, but also the nation. Sadly the media often further the cause of misinformation by presenting untruths as truths. They find it much more entertaining to present pseudo-science in a manner that suggests it might all be for real. Mr.
Read more ›
3 Comments 141 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Bob Park's excellent book takes up company with recent works in the same vein by Dawkins, Gould, Sagan, Kaminer, and others. It is good reading and entertaining though you may find your blood pressure soaring at times. It seems idiocy knows no bounds.
Parks takes a slightly different approach from most of the recent books challenging fringe science and discusses at length how our elected representatives and the U.S. government has been seduced into being advocates of voodoo science. Parks played a role as the information officer for the American Physical Society which has given him an inside view of how this has come about.
The book also takes a look at our space program and Parks slices and dices manned missions versus robotic ones. The robotic ones come out on top without much of a struggle. Though I was aware that there was differences of opinion on this matter, I was not aware of the magnitude of the problem and I found this information rather startling and something not covered in any of the other similar books in the field. I don't think Parks is trying to equate manned flight with voodoo science but the discussion of the topic was something I found valuable nonetheless.
If you have read the other recent books in this field you may have had a deja vu all over again feeling as they each tended to cover pretty much the same ground. Parks refreshingly expands the playing field and really does provide some new approaches and new information.
Comment 84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
For years, Robert Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, has written "What's New," a short weekly update on science issues for the American Physical Society. Park's quirky, pithy bulletins end with the phrase, "Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the APS, but they should be." Now he has written at length on some of the topics his column has touched on. His opinions may not be yours, but once you read _Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud_, they should be.
For Park has taken what ought to be the uncontroversial step of simply insisting that basic science is true, and that those who profit because they can supposedly violate scientific laws are fools or frauds, and the rest of us ought not to be fooled or defrauded. He keeps things basic; he never enters, say, the controversy of creation "science" versus evolution. His realm is physics. For instance, Park spends many pages describing perpetual motion machines. A machine that makes more energy than it takes in (or runs on the same amount of energy it makes) would violate basic thermodynamic laws, which Park carefully and lucidly explains. We may wish for the waterwheel that pumps enough water up to fall over the wheel again and thus keep going forever, but it will never happen.
Park covers plenty of other areas: homeopathy, magnet therapy, cold fusion, Star Wars / SDI, human versus robot exploration of space, therapeutic touch, extrasensory perception, alien abductions, Roswell, and so on. In each case, he simply aims cold, hard facts and physical laws at targets that fall under his good sense. "Most people who are drawn to voodoo science simply long for a world in which things are some other way than the way they are." With good humor and clear writing, Park has done us the favor of reminding us that the world is the way it is, that science shows the way it is, and that wishful thinking just won't do.
Comment 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Bob Park, a distinguished physicist, has done the general public as well as the science, media, and investor communities a great service by his in-depth analysis of the growing boom in pseudoscience, crank science, and activities which could go as far as fraud. Park's impeccable scientific credentials and detailed examinations of the worst cases of what he calls voodoo science should help the media spot fringe science and refuse to give it ink or air-time; a thorough read of the book might save investors from losing their shirts in hare-brained schemes.
And even the casual reader will learn the difference between real science and science on the fringe. The book and the science within are extremely accessible, even to the non-scientist.
Besides, the book is an amusing read.
Comment 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: isaac newton biography