The undergrowth of science : delusion, self-deception and human frailty


The undergrowth of science : delusion, self-deception and human frailty

Walter Gratzer

Oxford University Press, 2000

  • Hbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [311]-321) and index



The theme of this work is scientific foible. Gratzer describes for a general readership a number of episodes in science and medicine where an erroneous research finding was adhered to and given credence by its originators and others far beyond the point where it had been effectively discredited. Each of these episodes is dealt with in detail, with special attention given to the individuals involved, their careers and personalities, their relations with others, and so on. The accounts include the affair of the N-rays, Lysenko and the tragedy of Soviet genetics, science in the Third Reich, the tale of polywater, and the cold-fusion aberration of the 1980s.


  • Introduction. Chapter 1: Blondlot and the N-Rays. Chapter 2: Paradigms Enow: Some Mirages of Biology
  • Gurwitsch and his Mitogenic Radiation
  • The curse of the death-ray
  • Abderhalden and the protective enzymes
  • The case of the amorous toad
  • Memory transfer, or eat your mathematics. Chapter 3: Aberrations of Physics: Irving Langmuir Investigates
  • Capturing Electrons
  • Allison's magneto-optical effect
  • Langmuir's rules. Chapter 4: Nor Any Drop to Drink: the tale of polywater. Chapter 5: The Wilder Shores of Credulity. Chapter 6: Energy Unlimited. Chapter 7: What the Doctor Ordered. Chapter 8: Science, Chauvinism and Bigotry. Chapter 9: A Climate of Fear
  • The tragedy of Soviet genetics
  • The spread of the contagion
  • Soviet physics: idealism, pragmatism and the bomb
  • Is there a Marxist chemistry? Chapter 10: Science in the Third Reich: Bigotry, Racism and Extinction
  • The roots of fascist biology
  • The Ahnenerbe: Himmler the intellectual
  • Die. Deutsche Physik, its friends and enemies
  • A de

「Nielsen BookData」 より


  • ISBN
    • 0198507070
  • LCCN
  • 出版国コード
  • タイトル言語コード
  • 本文言語コード
  • 出版地
    Oxford ; New York
  • ページ数/冊数
    ix, 328 p.
  • 大きさ
    24 cm
  • 分類
  • 件名