Views & Reviews Nothing’s Sacred

How to learn scepticism

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 24 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4626
  1. Colin Brewer, writer, researcher, and former psychiatrist, London
  1. brewerismo{at}

Sadly, routine scepticism—rather than routine willingness to believe what we wish to be true—still seems a rare commodity, even in science departments. It is, of course, even rarer in places where they teach alternative medicine and the infallibility of sacred texts, whether religious or homeopathic. Ten years after I qualified, Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in physics, complained that “this long history of learning how not to fool ourselves, of having utter scientific integrity is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. …

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