On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science

On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science

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by David Goodstein
     
 

"Bracing reading. On Fact and Fraud is important because it combines a considered ethical stance and an analysis of the conditions under which fraud takes place with recognition of the all-too-real difficulties of handling, under pressure, hard-to-reproduce effects. This is a smart, deft book by someone deeply familiar with the moral and ethical complexities

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Overview

"Bracing reading. On Fact and Fraud is important because it combines a considered ethical stance and an analysis of the conditions under which fraud takes place with recognition of the all-too-real difficulties of handling, under pressure, hard-to-reproduce effects. This is a smart, deft book by someone deeply familiar with the moral and ethical complexities in contemporary science."—Peter Galison, Harvard University

"The success and credibility of science is anchored in a culture of complete openness. For more than twenty years, Caltech physicist David Goodstein has been on the front lines defending that culture against attacks of fraud and self-delusion. In this tightly written book, he shares insights drawn from cases that have shaken the physical sciences."—Robert L. Park, author of Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science

"This is a superb book. Goodstein not only discusses the subject in an accessible way, but his thoughts are refreshing to a working physicist such as me, one who has wrestled with many of these issues. It will be the definitive book on the subject. I know of nothing that competes. Goodstein is clearly an expert."—Richard A. Muller, University of California, Berkeley

"This book includes considerable material of interest. On Fact and Fraud offers an interesting read for anyone who has a career focus on these topics."—Michael W. Kalichman, director of the Research Ethics Program at the University of California, San Diego

"Goodstein's important book explores how science is really done, and distinguishes itself from other books on the topic in that it is a story told from the inside, by a physicist. Goodstein examines the structure of the entire enterprise, from the motivations of individual scientists, to the reward system, to the corridors of power. Along the way, he destroys a number of popular and enduring myths."—Anthony Tyson, University of California, Davis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691139661
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/21/2010
Pages:
168
Sales rank:
703,553
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


David Goodstein is the Frank J. Gilloon Distinguished Teaching and Service Professor in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His books include "Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil and Feynman's Lost Lecture".

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Preface xi
Chapter One: Setting the Stage 1
Chapter Two: In the Matter of Robert Andrews Millikan 29
Chapter Three: Bad News in Biology 51
Chapter Four: Codifying Misconduct: Evolving Approaches in the 1990s 59
Chapter Five: The Cold Fusion Chronicles 69
Chapter Six: Fraud in Physics 97
Chapter Seven: The Breakthrough That Wasn't Too Good to Be True 107
Chapter Eight: What Have We Learned? 127
Appendix: Caltech Policy on Research Misconduct 135
Acknowledgments 147
Notes 149
Index 155

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