Robert Richardson

Pseudo Science, Marvellous Gadgets and Public Policy


Abstract

People want to believe in magic. Since the beginning of civilization,
Charlatans have taken advantage of human gullibility to sell a remarkable array of fraudulent devices. Inspired by advertisements in the magazines found in the seat-back pockets of airplanes, I have collected a number of entertaining examples. The advertised gadgets are loosely based upon the laws of physics. Some of the devices play upon fears the public has concerning electric and magnetic fields. Public policy has sometimes reacted to the alarming claims made in advertisements.


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