Most of us are unlikely to ever have the word genius used to describe us, let alone go down in history for being one. But like the rest of us, even geniuses have moments when they fail to be exceptional, as this blog by Michael Brooks in the Huffington Post shows.
Perhaps the most surprising fact in the blog is that the man whose name is often synonymous with genius, Einstein, never proved the equation that earned him this reputation. Despite his attempts to provide a proof for E=mc2, he failed where other scientists succeeded. And when studying why iron is magnetic, he ignored results that went against the theory he had postulated. In fact, he is known to have expressed views about scientific fraud that would make many more than a little uncomfortable today. But in this respect, he was not alone among the scientific greats. Galileo and Newton were also both guilty of some unsavory scientific practices.
The blog offers an insightful look at scientific fraud through the ages and for this reason is my Pick of the Week. Even today scientists are not immune to some result tweaking:
“Roughly one-third of scientists admit to having committed some kind of fraud in the last three years.”