“Cargo Cult Science” by Dick Feynman

Ever since I discovered him shortly after identifying as a skeptic, Dick’s been one of my favorite teachers, since I don’t believe in heroes — more on that in a future post —  and here’s another essay video from a talk in which Feynman discusses those things passing as science in our modern world that nonetheless just don’t work, much like the practices of witchdoctors, or Pacific cargo cults.

This is what I consider an important warning about the need for integrity, for ourselves and toward others, in all walks of life as well as science, and the things we need to consider beyond base expediency, merely doing what’s needed to get ahead at the expense of what’s ethical — violating our integrity to both our peers and ourselves — and doing the allegedly ‘smart thing’ at the expense of doing the ‘right thing.’

We can all fool ourselves the most easily, and that’s only a step away from fooling others. Enjoy.

Courtesy of

CARGO CULT SCIENCE by Richard Feynman

Adapted from the Caltech commencement address given in 1974.

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