In 1950 Martin Gardner published an article in the Antioch Review entitled "The Hermit Scientist," about what we would today call pseudoscientists. It was Gardner's first publication of a skeptical nature (he was the math games columnist for Scientific American for more than a quarter of a century). In 1952 he expanded it into a book called In the Name of Science, with the descriptive subtitle "An entertaining survey of the high priests and cultists of science, past and present." Published by Putnam, the book sold so poorly that it was quickly remaindered and lay dormant until 1957, when it was republished by Dover. It has come down to us as Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, which is still in print and is arguably the skeptic classic of the past half a century.
Thankfully, there has been some progress since Gardner offered his first criticisms of pseudoscience. Now largely antiquated are his chapters on believers in a flat earth, a hollow earth, Atlantis and Lemuria, Alfred William Lawson, Roger Babson, Trofim Lysenko, Wilhelm Reich and Alfred Korzybski. But disturbingly, a good two thirds of the book's contents are relevant today, including Gardner's discussions of homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, iridiagnosis (reading the iris of the eye to determine bodily malfunctions), food faddists, cancer cures and other forms of medical quackery, Edgar Cayce, the Great Pyramid's alleged mystical powers, handwriting analysis, ESP and PK (psychokinesis), reincarnation, dowsing rods, eccentric sexual theories, and theories of group racial differences.