On the Fringe: Where Science Meets Pseudoscience


Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.57 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Michael D. Gordin is Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History and the director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University. He specializes in the history of modern science in Russia, Europe, and North America, in particular on issues related to the history of fringe science, the early years of the nuclear arms race, Russian and Soviet science, language and science, and Albert Einstein. He is the author of The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe, Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English, and Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly.


"Gordin's discussion offers critical tools for students confronting a cultural context in which claims of scientific expertise carry significant--even unprecedented--consequence." -- J. D. Martin, Durham University

"This will be helpful to anyone curious about how to separate the wheat of science from the chaff of pseudoscience." -- Publishers Weekly Review

"A fascinating exploration of the line between science and pseudoscience." -- PD Smith, The Guardian

"Illuminating" -- Ross McFarlane, Fortean Times

"Fascinating... a very effective and readable analysis." -- Brian Clegg, Popular Science blog

"Gordin (Einstein in Bohemia), a science historian, takes readers on a revelatory tour of pseudoscience and what lessons can be learned from it...Gordin does not offer an easy answer to his question of 'what is to be done?' and instead suggests that a better understanding of fringe science's history will allow readers to recognize the few that may 'cause significant public harm.' This will be helpful to anyone curious about how to separate the wheat of science from the chaff of pseudoscience."--Publishers Weekly

"Most discussions of pseudoscience focus on a handful of well-studied examples. Michael Gordin's deeply-informed tour of the fringes of science takes readers on a fascinating safari, in which we not only discover new aspects of the familiar forms but also learn about many exotic species. He proves an ideal guide." -- Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Columbia University

"Michael Gordin's book could hardly come at a more auspicious time. As disinformation and conspiracy theory floods the infosphere, about everything from vaccination and pandemics to climate change, it has never been more vital to understand how the boundaries between reliable and disreputable science become established and disputed. Without denying the importance of the problem, On the Fringe refuses easy answers in particular by making clear how much 'pseudoscience' arises from within the scientific and academic community. Clear, engaging and authoritative, this book is essential reading for everyone interested in how science interacts with the societies in which it is embedded." --Philip Ball, author of Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler

"[L]ively and thought-provoking." --LA Review of Books