Quacks and the Smithsonian

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by zgmc, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. zgmc Registered Senior Member

    I was recently told, by an aquaintance of mine, that her grandfather was in the Smithsonian for being a quack. Of course the family thinks the guy was a genius, and that the Smithsonian is wrong... I am curious about what this guy could have invented. I haven't had any luck with the google in finding any info on who or what they have in their collection of quakery. Does anyone know of any sites with listings of quack devices and their inventors?
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  3. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Quackery is a multi-billion dollar industry world wide. Ever since the first placebo effect, intensive research and development on more effective marketing for ineffective drugs and devices which cost virtually nothing in terms of effort to create more have been competing well with real science, and evidently quackery is winning.

    The internet is possibly the greatest boon to misinformation ever invented, and likewise, it cost little to co-opt into similar criminal and other marginal activities related to marketing the fruits of quackery.

    You might try checking out "The Encyclopedia of American Loons" for a start. Oprah Winfrey and Ray Kurzweil are both in there, but so are an awful lot of more deserving quacks.

    I think the Amazing Randy might also keep an index on purveyors of quackery, but I haven't viewed it in a while. It's possible, the legal defense costs eventually took it down. Some quacks seem to have no lack of new funding sources. Go figure.

    Anywhere else?
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  5. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Why don't you call the Smithsonian and ask about him by name? I've visited their shop "backstage" where they create exhibits and they are friendly and helpful people.
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  7. river

    The biggest Quack at the Smithsonian was , Major John Wesley Powell , tenure from 1879-1902

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