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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

So much relies on science. But what if science itself can’t be relied on?

Medicine, education, psychology, health, parenting - wherever it really matters, we look to science for advice. Science Fictions reveals the disturbing flaws that undermine our understanding of all of these fields and more.

While the scientific method will always be our best and only way of knowing about the world, in reality, the current system of funding and publishing science not only fails to safeguard against scientists’ inescapable biases and foibles, it actively encourages them. From widely accepted theories about ‘priming’ and ‘growth mindset’ to claims about genetics, sleep, microbiotics, as well as a host of drugs, allergies and therapies, we can trace the effects of unreliable, overhyped and even fraudulent papers in austerity economics, the anti-vaccination movement and dozens of best-selling books - and occasionally count the cost in human lives.

Stuart Ritchie has been at the vanguard of a new reform movement within science aimed at exposing and fixing these problems. In this vital investigation, he gathers together the evidence of their full and shocking extent and proposes a host of remedies to save and protect this most valuable of human endeavours from itself.

©2020 Stuart Ritchie (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Science Fictions

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Brilliant and Informative

Loved it! So much useful information and told in a very compelling and engrossing narrative. This should be required reading for every undergraduate student!

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Vexed problem clearly explained

This book covered a critical issue that colleagues and I have discussed aspects of for a long time, but it is really nice to see it all laid out so clearly and with some constructive solutions at the end. I really enjoyed this book and even though some of the explanations of statistics went over familiar ground, the examples and overall narative were clear and well explained.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-08-2021

Very well researched and written book.

Well read by the author. Well written. Enough examples to make it interesting. Good critique of many of the problems that need to be resolved in research. And some suggestions for improvement.

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  • Pedro DC C
  • 28-01-2021

A must

Great book. It should be a must read for any student who wants to start a career in science.

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  • Hudson Alumera
  • 20-09-2020

Science needed this

Stuart Ritchie greatly captures the issues in science today. The crisis is dire and urgent and he carefully, fairly and without reservations invites the reader to see the crisis. Unusual for most authors he offers some solutions but quickly admits more needs to be done. A great read, and important argument a job superbly executed. The bonus is the author performs the book himself, you truly hear his “voice”

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  • liam c
  • 23-07-2020

Brilliant

A comprehensive but easy to understand look at how science needs, and can be, changed to benefit us all.
The narration is great.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lawrence Newport
  • 23-07-2020

Revealing and necessary

This book is absolutely necessary and it is a great relief to find someone eruditely explaining some of the worst practices in science. Much of academia needs to change, and Ritchie highlights many of its grave faults.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kefuddle
  • 04-10-2021

An Good Insight

I did learn a lot from this book. Perhaps some confirmation bias on my part, but it is obvious there is a serious problem with the state of the practice of the scientific process, so I was very receptive to the methods and techniques used to achieve the desired than the objective results.

However, the anti-Trump inserts are getting tedious. No other politician is mentioned during the 100 years that science has managed to diverge from its ideals, but everything bad in the world is now about Trump (not forgetting climate change deniers). Pathetic.

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  • DW
  • 18-08-2021

Very important book!

Basically a book that questions the ethics of scientific research and leaves the reader in no doubt that there are serious issues with policing science. The book is relentless, shocking and disturbing. While there is great depth of analysis the author does everything possible for a non expert to grasp the overall bigger picture. Every third level student looking to undertake empirical research needs to read this book.

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  • Florencia
  • 21-07-2021

Reformar la Ciencia

Un libro imprescindible para cualquier persona que se quiera dedicar a la ciencia y también para aquellas que la estudian. La narración es muy buena (por el mismo autor)

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  • Ludwig van El
  • 22-06-2021

This is very well supported

i may be biased, but this book's arguments are very well grounded. I have long ago found that climate showed that no scientist can be trusted. in fact I have shown so using the scientific method.
Thecauthor idenymtifies a numbercof problems, and offers possible solutions to them.
this makes for a very nice scientific read
The Scottish accent is present, but mild (elegant, in fact)

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  • HH
  • 09-05-2021

A must read!

An important book for every academic. I highly recommend it. Also, we'll written and fun to read.

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  • mark
  • 25-04-2021

Excellent Listen

Stuart Richie does an excellent job at describing many of the issues with modern science and really tells the story to Ioannidis famous paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False".

If you liked “Bad Science”, you’ll really enjoy this book.

Anyone with an interest in science should be familiar with both Science Fictions and Bad Science, in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-2021

What's wrong with today's science(making)

Ritchie takes us on a tour of what is wrong with the way science is produced these days. It's quite a disheartening one, since there's plenty wrong. The author however never sinks into dispair and offers ways science practice could be made better. Essential reading for any scientist just starting out in academia like myself.

P.S.: The author's Scottish voice is a pleasure to listen to!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-10-2020

fascinating and surprisingly funny

A really fascinating book and well narrated. If you're a researcher or at all interested in science this is well worth a read.

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