Geological fakes and frauds

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    Some geological fakes and frauds are carried out solely for financial gain (mining fraud), whereas others maybe have increasing aesthetic appeal (faked fossils) or academic advancement (fabricated data) as their motive. All types of geological fake or fraud can be ingenious and sophisticated, as demonstrated in this article. Fake gems, faked fossils and mining fraud are common examples where monetary profit is to blame: nonetheless these may impact both scientific theory and the reputation of geologists and Earth scientists. The substitution or fabrication of both physical and intellectual data also occurs for no direct financial gain, such as career advancement or establishment of belief (e.g. evolution vs. creationism). Knowledge of such fakes and frauds may assist in spotting undetected geological crimes: application of geoforensic techniques helps the scientific community to detect such activity, which ultimately undermines scientific integrity.


    • Geological fakes and frauds

      Rights statement: Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)224–231
    JournalEarth-Science Reviews
    Journal publication dateFeb 2012
    Issue number1-2
    Early online date12 Dec 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

      Research areas

    • Gems, Fakes, Frauds, Mining, Palaeoecology, Water

    ID: 851633