In 1931, a book titled “100 Authors Against Einstein” was published by 100 scientists who denounced Einstein’s theory of relativity as nonsense and expressed disappointment in the lack of recognition for their own work.
The Drake Equation, a formula developed in 1961, is used to calculate the number of advanced civilizations capable of communicating via radio within our galaxy. The initial estimate using this equation was at least 20.
In the late 19th century, British scientist Lord Kelvin made a prediction about the ultimate fate of the universe. He stated that the universe was slowly running out of energy, and that it would eventually reach a state of “heat death,” in which all matter would be evenly distributed and all energy would be used up. This prediction was based on the laws of thermodynamics, which describe how energy is transferred and transformed in a closed system.
Many scientists were skeptical of Lord Kelvin’s prediction, but in the 20th century, the discovery of dark energy lent support to the idea that the universe might indeed be expanding and cooling as Lord Kelvin had suggested. Today, the concept of the “heat death” of the universe is still a subject of debate among scientists, but it is an interesting example of a historical prediction that has gained credibility over time.
In the early 20th century, a group of scientists in Russia carried out a series of experiments in which they attempted to communicate with plants. They believed that plants were sentient beings that were capable of feeling emotions and responding to stimuli, and they attempted to communicate with them using various methods, including talking to them, playing music for them, and even attempting to transmit thoughts telepathically.
One of the most famous of these experiments was carried out by a scientist named Elena Blavatsky, who claimed that she had successfully communicated with a plant and had even received messages from it. Although these experiments were met with widespread skepticism at the time, they continue to be a source of fascination and have inspired a number of popular books and movies. It is still a matter of debate among scientists whether or not plants are truly sentient, but the idea that they might be has captured the imaginations of people for decades.
In the early 20th century, a group of scientists in the United States conducted a series of experiments in which they tried to communicate with the dead through the use of psychic mediums. These experiments, known as the “Cross Correspondences,” involved the mediums receiving messages from spirits who claimed to be deceased scientists and scholars. The messages were often fragmented and difficult to understand, but the scientists involved in the experiments believed that they were able to piece together a coherent narrative through careful analysis of the mediums’ messages.
The Cross Correspondences were controversial and were largely dismissed by the scientific community at the time, but they gained a significant following among some members of the public, who saw them as evidence of the existence of an afterlife. Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support their claims, the scientists who conducted the Cross Correspondences remained convinced of their validity and continued to pursue their research until the 1940s.
Soviet scientist Viktor Gordeyev invented Rocket Boots. Instead of actual rockets, the boots were equipped with pistons filled with a fuel-air mixture. The boots enabled an average speed of 10.5 mph and a maximum speed of 22 mph.
Scientist Claire Patterson spent over 20 years trying to convince the public that lead was poison.
The inventor of leaded gasoline meanwhile once went to New Jersey to argue that leaded gasoline was perfectly safe, by pouring tetraethyllead onto his hands, and then putting a bottle of it under his nose and inhaling it for 60 seconds saying he could do it every day without any problems. He then had to leave work after being diagnosed with lead poisoning.
He also went on to invent Freon, a CFC that was later banned after being shown to be responsible for ozone depletion.
Then he got polio, so he invented another thing, a pulley system that let him pull himself out of bed. He would then die after becoming entangled in this and strangling himself.
A professor ran a long running study on a pitch drop missed every single drop. One in 1977 because he went home tired, another in 1988 because he went to get a cup of tea, and in 2000 due to a malfunctioned webcam. When the next drop finally fell in 2014, he had died 8 month earlier.
Japanese scientists hypothesized that zebras’ stripes deter insects. So they painted black and white stripes on cows and striped cows had about 50% fewer biting flies land on them than unpainted cows.
In 1996 a physicist submitted a paper full of word salad and gibberish to a postmodernist journal and it actually passed peer review and was published. This is known as the Sokal Affair.
“feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of “objectivity”. It has thus become increasingly apparent that physical “reality”, no less than social “reality”, is at bottom a social and linguistic construct; that scientific “knowledge”, far from being objective, reflects and encodes the dominant ideologies and power relations of the culture that produced it; that the truth claims of science are inherently theory-laden and self-referential; and consequently, that the discourse of the scientific community, for all its undeniable value, cannot assert a privileged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic narratives emanating from dissident or marginalized communities.“