The scam of pseudoscience, under Mètode’s magnifying glass

Issue 95 of the journal is coordinated by Angelo Fasce

Photo: Concha Molina

«Pseudosciences are by-products of the prestige of science as a social enterprise and as a means of obtaining knowledge. Their character is inherently negative, given that, by definition, a pseudoscience is an intellectual fraud consisting of products, practices, or ideas unconnected with scientific rationality that are asserted as science to society in an act of rhetorical enhancement of their dubious goodness». Thus begins the monograph coordinated by Angelo Fasce, philosopher of science with a background in neuroscience and currently a PhD student at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Valencia. Under the title The scam of pseudoscience, Métode‘s issue 95 aims to offer readers «a rich source of information on a phenomenon that, while exciting from an intellectual point of view, also has a great presence in our daily lives».

The autumn 2017 issue collects texts by Sven Ove Hansson, Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry, Johan BraeckmanTaner EdisEdzard Ernst, Gonzalo Casino, José Miguel Mulet, Jordi MazónMarcel Costa, David Pino, Jesús Alcolea Banegas and the coordinator of the monograph, Angelo Fasce.  The artistic side comes from Joël Mestre. The themes explored in The scam of pseudoscience are matched in his «prototypes», built by manipulating plastic containers: solid objects and dubious shapes, which at first appear to be something definite and real, but with a second look reveal their artificiality.

Fewer animals in experimental research

Issue 95 of Mètode opens with an op-ed by Carmen Montón, Councillor for Universal Healthcare and Public Health of the regional government of Valencia. In July, the regional government was the first to ask the central government to withdraw homeopathic products from the category of medicine. This is followed by a news article by Enrique Font and Matthew Kramer on strategies to reduce the use of animals in animal research. Francesc Mesquita interviews Pierre Legendre, ecologist and professor of the University of Montreal. There is also an article by Agustí Jansà on the keys to heavy Mediterranean rains, as well as a piece on drip irrigation by Carles Sanchis Ibor, Marta García Mollá and Mar Ortega Reig.

In this extensive 148-page magazine, there is also an article by María Solar on “The Children of Balmis” and the expedition that brought the smallpox vaccine to America. And also on the theme of childhood, Daniel Climent Giner, Carlos Martín Cantarino, and Emilio Laguna Lumbreras devote the article «Playing with plants» to playful children’s ethnobotany. As usual, the final pages of the journal are dedicated to book reviews and sections by our collaborators. In this issue we present for the second time the Science drawer section, a space with texts featuring renowned scientific disseminators from different fields. After the first column, written by Clara Grima, we publish an article by the dietitian and nutritionist Aitor Sánchez, author of the blog Mi dieta cojea.

© Mètode 2017