“Arrogance and hypocrisy are recurrent themes, although far from the only ones, in considering fraudulent scientists: it is as if some get so engaged in their own world that the external one becomes a sort of secondary reality, one in which events have an almost fictional status and where consequences need not be considered.
… The borderlines between fraud, self-deception, gullible acceptance of the fake, and the ideological corruption of science can be very blurred. In theory, none of them should happen; in practice, all too often, they all do, sometimes in combination. Where does one draw the line between, say, self-deception and ideological corruption?
… All of the categories of scientific falsification are dangerous: people can die of them—either directly, as with fraudulent cancer cures, or indirectly…
…. We live in an age when the falsification of science, in particular the ideological corruption of science, has reached a new level of importance—the very survival of our species may be threatened by it.
Not all falsifications seem of such significance—although one could make the case that false belief in itself does considerable damage by way of a sort of intellectual pollution that hampers all our other efforts at progress, or simply by generating sufficient irrelevant ‘noise’ that genuine knowledge becomes obscured. What may start as a relatively harmless hoax or fraud can be compounded through human gullibility or self-deception until suddenly it assumes an importance far beyond anything the original perpetrator could have conceived.”
— John Grant, author of the book Corrupted Science