Betrayers of the Truth

Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science

Cover of the first edition
Author William Broad
Nicholas Wade
Country United States
Subject Scientific misconduct
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Pages 256
ISBN 0-671-44769-6
OCLC 8667573
507/.24 19
LC Class Q172.5.F7 B76 1983

Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science is a book by William Broad and Nicholas Wade, published in 1982 by Simon & Schuster in New York, and subsequently (1983) also by Century Publishing in London, and with a simplified subtitle as Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in Science by Oxford University Press in 1985. The book is a critique of some widely held beliefs about the nature of science and the scientific process.

The book argues that the conventional wisdom that science is a strictly logical process, with objectivity the essence of scientist's attitudes, errors being speedily corrected by rigorous peer scrutiny and experiment replication, is a mythical ideal.

Our conclusion, in brief, is that science bears little resemblance to its conventional portrait. We believe that the logical structure discernible in scientific knowledge says nothing about the process by which the structure was built or the mentality of the builders. In the acquisition of knowledge, scientists are not guided by logic and objectivity alone, but also by such nonrational factors as rhetoric, propaganda, and personal prejudice. Scientists do not depend solely on rational thought, and have no monopoly on it.[1]

The authors present a series of case studies associated with the conduct of scientific research, from the manipulation of results to the total fabrication of whole experiments.[2][3][4]

See also


  1. Broad, William; Wade, Nicholas (1983), Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science, London: Century Publishing, pp. 8–9, ISBN 0-7126-0243-7
  2. Evans, Donald (1986), "Book Review: Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science", Journal of Medical Ethics, 12 (3): 160–161, doi:10.1136/jme.12.3.160
  3. Joravsky, David (October 13, 1983), "Unholy Science", The New York Review of Books, retrieved 29 April 2010 (Review of 1983 publication)
  4. Angell, Marcia (March 1983), "Fraud in Science (Book reviews: Betrayers of the Truth)", Science, 219 (4591): 1417–1418, Bibcode:1983Sci...219.1417B, doi:10.1126/science.219.4591.1417, retrieved 29 April 2010
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