Steorn perpetual motion machine, amazingly, may not work: independent jury resigns

June 23rd, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, perpetual motion | 20 Comments »

For those who care about follow-ups:

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Hilarious Steorn post-mortem video

July 12th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, perpetual motion | 20 Comments »

Here is a video of Steorn director Sean chatting to some people in the aftermath of his failed demonstration, it gets particularly funny about 4 minutes in. You just want to reach into the screen and go “Oh, all six of the bearings all broke in three machines and that’s not happened before? It’s alright mate, don’t worry about it, we’ll get some new ones straight away. Fly them in? No problem, you’ve got plenty of cash, this is obviously important. Really? Okay, no don’t go home. We’ll have a whip round. No seriously mate, don’t pack up, stay there, we’ll have your bearings in a mo. Just a delay. Don’t call off the demo. Sean? Sean?”


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Self-indulgent retrospective – 2007

December 28th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 22 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian,
Saturday December 29 2007

Nobody listens to a word I say: I’ve been saying it for so long now that I think I’d be sorry if they did. Scaremongering season kicked off with the Panorama WiFi special. Among its many crimes against sense, this program featured “independent testing” by – oh, hang on – a campaigner against WiFi, who also sells his own brand of special protective equipment to those frightened about WiFi. The BBC have since upheld complaints. Immediately after the show was broadcast, the Independent were promoting elaborate quack devices to protect against WiFi: these will take off in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

More free energy now.

November 10th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bbc, mail, perpetual motion | 74 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
The Guardian
Saturday November 10 2007

When it comes to creating energy you can’t make something out of nothing, says the BBC newsreader, from behind the very important desk… “Until now. Because British scientists seem to have turned this fundamental law of physics upside down.” The Mail on Sunday loved it even more. “Amazing British invention creates MORE energy than you put into it – and could soon be warming your home,” it said. Taste the excitement. “It violates almost every known law of physics.” That’ll teach those so-called scientists a lesson.

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Perpetual truths

July 7th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in adverts, bad science, magnets, perpetual motion | 34 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Saturday July 7, 2007
The Guardian

You might remember an Irish company called Steorn: in August 2006 they took out a full page advert in the Economist to announce that they had discovered a source of free energy, a perpetual motion machine no less, in triumphant defiance of that stuffy first law of thermodynamics. Read the rest of this entry »