To the chagrin of many scientists, universities the world over are cumulatively committing and spending billions of dollars on the research of pseudo-sciences. What’s the difference between a science and a pseudo-science? Pseudo-sciences cover theories, assumptions and methods many regard as erroneously scientific, such as creationism, magnetic healing, perpetual motion, quantum mysticism, parapsychology, prophecy, homeopathy and cure-alls.
Although some of these topics may seem on the fringe of various sciences, it’s not their inherent nature that makes them pseudo-sciences; rather it’s the way they’re handled in research. Any subject can be treated scientifically. Pseudo-sciences are often promoted by enthusiasts rather than rigorously analyzed via scientific method to verify their legitimacy, resulting in claims in the natural world that are often unsupported or contradicted by scientific evaluation.
The role of journalists in propagating the spread of bunk science was discussed at great length earlier this summer at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Qatar.