About Science Fictions

Welcome to Science Fictions! This is the Substack newsletter that follows on from my 2020 book of the same name, which was about fraud, bias, negligence and hype in science. If it’s about where research goes wrong, I’m interested: not because I want to attack science, but because healthy scepticism is what science is all about. I’m also interested in ways that we can fix these problems - whether that involves changes in scientific publishing, statistics, culture, or policy.

When this Substack started in 2022, I was writing original articles here, and you can still find them all in the archive. In 2023, I started a full-time job as a newspaper science writer, and the Substack changed to monthly newsletter-style posts of interesting bad-science links. As of 2024, I have a new job, working in research communications at Anthropic. The monthly links posts will continue, and I’m sure I’ll start writing some original content again.

If you’d like to suggest a topic for me to cover, or tip me off about some dodgy scientific claims (in scientific papers, the mainstream press, or anywhere else), then please do get in touch: stuartritchie@substack.com.

BTW, you should also take a look at my podcast with Tom Chivers: The Studies Show.


Note that any views published anywhere on this site are my own, and don’t represent those of my employer.

Why subscribe?

You might want to subscribe if you’re any of the following kinds of people:

  • Someone who wants a rational, sensible, non-political take on the latest scientific controversies;

  • Someone who reads a lot of science news but wants to see a more critical angle;

  • Someone who isn’t a scientist but wants to see behind the scenes of how science is actually done;

  • A student who wants to sharpen their statistical or critical analysis skills;

  • Someone who is interested in ideas to reform and improve our scientific system.

Since it’s a good bet that you’re in at least one of those categories, you should consider clicking the button below to subscribe. Thanks so much for reading!

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Good writing about bad science


Research Comms lead at Anthropic; Former Academic; Monthly Substack Updater