Some years ago, I heard Bob Park give a talk about pseudoscience, using “How to get rich and famous abusing your science knowledge” as a framing device. He ran through the deceptions involved in a bunch of high-profile “science” based scams and scares– homeopathy, free energy, power lines causing cancer, etc.
Over at Live Granades, there’s a four-step guide to creating a scientific controversy that gives you something close to Park’s template:
1. Pick something that is regarded as true by the vast majority of scientists in the field and claim that it causes something bad.
2. Demand that scientists prove a negative by showing that the good thing doesn’t actually have bad results.
(You’ll have to click through for the other two steps and an example.)
Really, all that’s missing is an explanation of how to monetize this. But really, that’s the easy part– once you’ve generated controversy, you can easily turn that into cash. The tricky part is overcoming your conscience and sense of shame…