No, we haven’t been sued by some magnet-hocking web footed “forward thinking practitioner.” However, should we be sued, the judge before us could find himself/herself at a loss when it comes to scientific or medical facts. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the US Supreme Court ruled that federal judges may arbitrate what evidence/testimony a jury sees, and encouraged them to turn to established scientific organizations to find neutral experts, rather than guess at which scientist’s science-speak seems sincerely scientific. Robert Park, PhD, is such a man. He’s got seven warning signs for bogus science…
1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.
The integrity of science rests on the willingness of scientists to expose new ideas and findings to the scrutiny of other scientists. Thus, scientists expect their colleagues to reveal new findings to them initially. An attempt to bypass peer review by taking a new result directly to the media, and thence to the public, suggests that the work is unlikely to stand up to close examination by other scientists….
2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work.
The idea is that the establishment will presumably stop at nothing to suppress discoveries that might shift the balance of wealth and power in society. Often, the discoverer describes mainstream science as part of a larger conspiracy that includes industry and government. Claims that the oil companies are frustrating the invention of an automobile that runs on water, for instance, are a sure sign that the idea of such a car is baloney….