Voodoo Science

Space Shuttle LandingWednesday, July 20, 2011 Space Shuttle Atlantis will complete STS-135 and land for the final time, marking the end of NASA’s 30 year long Shuttle Program.

This the ending of a generation long era and is a bittersweet thing. Many people will miss both the Space Shuttle and America’s manned spaced program, which has probably ended as well.

Nostalgia aside, many people believe that we’ll miss America’s Space Program for a wide variety of tangible technological reasons, citing the plethora of technologies that they believe were either developed by NASA or at NASA’s request.

Perhaps happily, much of what they believe was done by or specifically for NASA wasn’t as the former chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland and founder of Washington Office of the American Physical Society, Dr. Robert L. “Bob” Park has repeatedly stated.

Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud: In 10 well-written essays suitable for a lay audience, Robert Park uses pathological science as a basis for far-reaching discussions on science, society, and the misinformation that reaches the public.

Dr. Park Touches upon everything from Deepak Chopra’s “quantum alternative to growing old,” and “free energy” machines, to the unwarranted hype surrounding the International Space Station.

Like some critics I disagree on some points with Dr. Park and think that he has underplayed the advances in science and technology came as derivatives of the Space Program. Voodoo Science is certainly worth reading however. It sets a framework from which the reader can move on to rationally approach scientific and technological advances as they truly are as opposed to how they are presented to the everyday layman.

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