BOGUS SCIENCE….The Chronicle of Higher Education provides us with the seven warning signs of bogus science. Here’s the list:

  1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.

  2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work.

  3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection.

  4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal.

  5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries.

  6. The discoverer has worked in isolation.

  7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.

The whole article is absolutely spot on. In particular, pay attention to point #1: if a scientific result isn’t announced at a legitimate conference or published in a peer-reviewed journal, just forget about it. It’s bogus. There are really no exceptions to this rule.

(Note, however, that the opposite isn’t true: publication in a peer reviewed journal doesn’t guarantee that something is right. It probably means it’s not the work of charlatans, but it still might be wrong.)