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Voodoo science in Russia today

Ludwik Kowalski (May 26, 2003)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

Kruglyakov’s book about pseudo-science in Russia today has been mentioned in one of my earlier items. I read it in Russian, after the book was sent to me by Karabut. Today I found a good English summary on the subject at:

It is a paper published by Edward Kruglyakov in the July/August 2002 issue of Skeptical Inquirer. I think that many people are aware of pseudo-scientists; several illustrations are presented by Robert Park in his recent “Voodoo Science; the Road from Foolishness to Fraud” book. I would not be surprised to learn that pseudo-scientists exists in the cold fusion community. But I have no evidence that major contributors to that field are pseudo-scientists. Here is a quote from Kruglyakov’s article:

“In Russia, even research institutes with pseudoscientific tendencies have appeared. I'll give only two examples: the International Institute of Space Anthropecology and the International Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics. The first has even managed to attain state accreditation with the help of the Russian Ministry of Science. The second has received financial support both from the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Defense for the well-known swindle of torsion fields. Peaceful coexistence between science and pseudoscience is impossible. From time to time, science attempts to unmask pseudoscience. The latter fights back with fierce hatred. Pseudoscientists are anxious to settle accounts with the Academy of Science, because the Academy is a great obstacle to these newly half-baked ‘scientists’."

To what extent is the growth of pseudo-science facilitated by what happens in real science? To what extent is it influenced by what happens in education?

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