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Jan Hendrik Schön (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others
Jan Henrik Schön (pictured on the left), a researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, had five papers published in Nature and seven in the journal science between 1998 and 2001, dealing with advanced aspects of electronics. The discoveries were abstruse, but he was seen by many of his peers as a rising star. In 2002, a committee found that he had made up his results on at least 16 occasions, resulting in the public embarrassment of his colleagues, his employer, and the editorial staffs of both the journals that accepted his results. Schön, who by then was still only 32, said: “I have to admit that I made various mistakes in my scientific work, which I deeply regr ...

The Cardiff Giant (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

The Cardiff Giant is one of the most famous hoaxes in American history. It was a 3 meter (10 foot) petrified body of a man. It was discovered in 1869 by a team of workers digging a well behind the home of William Newell in Cardiff, New York. As it turns out, the giant was [...][...]

The Perpetual Motion Machine (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

Cars that run on water and fusion machines that generate more energy than they use are staples of inventors’ fantasy. They pop up all the time. Charles Redheffer raised large sums of money in Philadelphia with a perpetual motion machine and then took it to New York in 1813, whe[...]

The Lying Stones (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

In 1726, Johann Beringer of Würzburg published details of fossils found outside the Bavarian town. These included “lizards in their skin, birds with beaks and eyes, spiders with their webs, and frogs copulating.” Other stones he found bore the Hebrew letters YHVH, for Jehova[...]

The Tasaday Tribe (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

In 1971, a Philippine government minister (Manuel Elizalde) discovered a small stone age tribe living in isolation on the island of Mindanao. This tribe, called the Tasaday, spoke a strong language, used stone tools, and exhibited other stone-age attributes. Their discovery made [...]

Discoveries of Shinichi Fujimura (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

Shinichi Fujimura was one of Japan’s leading archaeologists – despite being self-taught. In 1981 he made his first discovery of stoneware that dated back 40,000 years. It was the oldest stoneware ever found in Japan and this discovery launched his career. During the following[...]

The Great Moon Hoax (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

In August, 1835, a series of articles appeared on the front page of the New York Sun. The articles listed a series of incredible astronomical breakthroughs that the British Astronomer, Sir John Herschel, had made using a unique large telescope and special methods. The article sai[...]

Lamarckian Inheritance (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

During the 1920s an Austrian scientist named Paul Kammerer designed an experiment to prove that Lamarckian inheritance (the notion that organisms may acquire characteristics and pass them to their offspring) was possible. His experiment involved a species of toad called the Midwi[...]

The Sokal Affair (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

The Sokal affair was a hoax by Alan Sokal (a physicist) perpetrated on the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University). In 1996, he submitted a paper of nonsense camouflaged in jargon to see if the journal would “publish an article liberally s[...]

Piltdown Man (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

The Piltdown Man is a famous hoax in which pieces of a skull and jawbone found in 1912 were believed to be the fossilized remains of an early form of human being. The specimen was officially given a latin name (Eoanthropus Dawsoni) after its collector Charles Dawson. In 1953 it w[...]

Placebo Effect

February 14th, 2014 § in Others

The placebo effect is when a person takes something they believe is medicine for an ailment they are suffering (which is not really a medicine), and they get better. A placebo is an inert substance, and when taken (with the advice from others that it will cure them) makes the per[...]