The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Oxford University Press, £13.99, ISBN 0195313682 Snake Oil Science: the Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine By R. Barker Bausell Reviewed by Ray Ward Bausell covers the rise of CAM, the history of placebos, impediments to valid inferences, why randomised placebo controls are necessary in CAM research, judging scientific evidence, personal research on acupuncture, how […]

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Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture by Alan Sokal

Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture by Alan Sokal

OUP,  £20.00, ISBN 978-0-19-923920-7 A decade ago, Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont published Intellectual Impostures: Postmodern Philosophers’ Abuse of Science, a book written to provide a context for Sokal’s glorious hoax, whereby he successfully submitted a parody of postmodern theorizing about science to the journal, Social Text. The journal’s editors snapped up what they took […]

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Jinn from Hyperspace: And Other Scribblings – Both Serious and Whimsical by Martin Gardner

Review: Jinn from Hyperspace: And Other Scribblings – Both Serious and Whimsical by Martin Gardner

Prometheus Books, £17.50 (hb), ISBN-10: 1591025656Another Gardner book is always good news, for both sceptics and aficionados of science and mathematics. Over the last fifty years, he has written nearly a hundred books, especially about mathematical puzzles and diversions. This latest volume is a collection covering a range of his own enthusiasms, which yields a […]

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Counter-Knowledge: How we Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History by Damian Thompson

Counter-Knowledge: How we Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History by Damian Thompson

Atlantic Books,  £7.99 (pb), ISBN 10: 1843546760This book is an impressive new addition to the now well-established genre of sceptical works critiquing largely irrational ‘fringe’ theories relating to matters of science and history, especially those which (although often absurd) manifest a degree of superficial plausibility for the non-specialist reader and have thus had unwarranted influence […]

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