Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate Principia Scientific International (PSI) a strong conspiracy and Pseudoscience website that promotes anti-vaccine propaganda and frequent misinformation regarding climate change.
Factual Reporting: LOW
Country: United Kingdom
World Press Freedom Rank: UK 35/180
Founded in 2010, Principia Scientific International (PSI) is an organization based in the United Kingdom which promotes fringe views and material to claim that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas. PSI has also published a book, titled “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.” According to their about page “Principia Scientific International (PSI) is the only independent science body in the world that is legally incorporated to champion the traditional scientific method, as set out in the work of Karl Popper”. The founder and current CEO of Principia Scientific International is John O’Sullivan. For more background information on John O’Sullivan see here and here.
In November 2019, the PSI Facebook page was banned: Facebook Bans Principia Scientific International Without Explanation. As of 3/13/2020, it does not appear to have been restored.
Funded by / Ownership
Principia Scientific does not list names regarding ownership, however, they state “Since June 2017 Principia Scientific International is legally registered in the UK as a company incorporated for charitable purposes. We are a ‘Community Interest Company’ overseen and regulated by Companies House.” Revenue is generated through donations.
Analysis / Bias
In review, PSI claims as their number one mission to “be the leading independent voice for principled science as per the Traditional Scientific Method (TSM)”, which was championed by scientific philosopher Karl Popper. The general philosophy of Popper is that scientist should actively attempt to falsify a hypothesis, rather than prove it. The right-leaning American Council on Science and Health has written why this method may not be the best.
Principia Scientific covers many areas of science, however, most stories center around climate change (global warming) and vaccinations. When it comes to climate change, PSI does not agree CO2 is the primary driver of global warming (Pseudoscience). However, according to its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world, concluded: “there’s a better than 95 percent probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth’s temperatures over the past 50 years.” Further, the National Center for Education states that human-influenced climate change deniers promote a form of pseudoscience: “these deniers attempt to sabotage science education with fringe ideas, pseudoscience, and outright lies.” Finally, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Science and Pseudoscience “Philosophers and other theoreticians of science differ widely in their views on what science is. Nevertheless, there is virtual unanimity in the community of knowledge disciplines on most particular issues of demarcation. There is a widespread agreement for instance that creationism, astrology, homeopathy, Kirlian photography, dowsing, ufology, ancient astronaut theory, Holocaust denialism, Velikovskian catastrophism, and climate change denialism are pseudosciences.”
PSI takes vaccinations to another level through promoting conspiracies with stories like this: Doctors Who Discovered Cancer Enzymes In Vaccines All Murdered! (Conspiracy). This story is sourced to Neon Nettle, which we rate as a quackery level pseudoscience and tin foil hat conspiracy website. This story is listed as a Pants on Fire claim by Politifact.
In general, the information found on this website falls along the right biased spectrum of science. Although this source claims to champion the traditional scientific method, they nevertheless promote human-influenced climate change denial on the website, which further promotes climate change as a grand conspiracy with scientists “fudging” data.
Failed Fact Checks
- “Doctors who discovered cancer enzymes in vaccines all found murdered.” – Pants on Fire
- Solar Minimum expected to cool the upper-atmosphere – False
- We are not heading towards a “mini ice age”, contrary to claims in some media – False
- No, an “FDA study” did not find that vaccines contain cancer-causing viruses – Inaccurate
- Volcanic CO2 emissions are known to be much smaller than human-caused emissions – Inaccurate
- “Father of Global Warming’ Scientist Finally Admits Theory Is Wrong” – Inaccurate
- Merck Scraps Vaccine, says better to catch COVID Virus & Recover – False
- “Most extreme weather phenomena have not become more extreme, more deadly, or more destructive” – False
Overall, we rate Principia Scientific International (PSI) a strong conspiracy and Pseudoscience website that promotes anti-vaccine propaganda and frequent misinformation regarding climate change. (D. Van Zandt 7/18/2017) Updated (2/15/2021)