Scientific hoaxes, Discover magazine, April issue
In honor of April Fools’ Day, Discover magazine’s Jonathon Keats briefly recounts some scientific hoaxes perpetrated over the centuries. His catalogue of cons includes “Aristotle’s Masterpiece,” a 17th-century mishmash of bogus medical texts and sex advice that remained in publication for 200 years. Then there’s the Chinese fossil that duped National Geographic 15 years ago: the supposed “archeoraptor” turned out to be rearranged parts of fossils, with the tail of a dinosaur linked to the body of an extinct bird. He also recalls how in 2013 Science magazine staffers submitted a fake research paper, complete with numerous errors, to 304 open-access journals, and that it was accepted by 157 of them.