A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘badscience’

Expect The Unexpected

Posted by apgaylard on February 3, 2008

In science unexpected results occur more often than we might think. These anomalies, the black swans of legend, range from the trivial to the momentous. They can be nails in the coffin of a cherished theory; more grist for the mathematical mill, or just simply errors.

Some are ignored by busy scientists as they pursue more fruitful lines of inquiry, while others are swept under the carpet by the lazy or unethical. In contrast, some are delivered prematurely into the full glare of publicity by those seeking fame and, perhaps, fortune.

So, how seriously should we take the ‘support’ that an unexpected result may appear to give an implausible therapy; like apparantly anomalous properties of water invoked in support of homeopathy, for example?

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Posted in The Memory of Water, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Water Water Everywhere

Posted by apgaylard on November 14, 2007

The recent special issue of the journal Homeopathy on ‘The Memory of Water’ gave rise to a lot of skeptical comment.  A significant amount of this was facilitated by a Journal Club that Ben Goldacre ran at www.badscience.net, with the permission of the publishers (Elsevier) and editor (Peter Fisher). 

It’s pleasing to be able to report that one of the two ‘letters’ I submitted will be published by Homeopathy in the January issue.  It looks like it will be in good company.  The status of the remaining submission is unclear at the moment, though I am hopeful that it will make it in the end!

[ed.  News just in; the remaining letter will also be published in the January issue.]

It is good to see that Homeopathy and its editor are fostering an open engagement with those of us who were unconvinced, to say the least, by what we read in the special issue.

I am also looking forward to seeing what the authors will have to say for themselves.

Finally, I must admit to being somewhat bemused at the prospect of being published in Homeopathy.  As I work in a fairly obscure field, it probably has the highest impact factor of any journal that I’ve been published in.

Posted in The Memory of Water | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »