Real/Fake Science

Our esteemed host, Shyaporn Theerakulstit

Our esteemed host, Shyaporn Theerakulstit

This is an ongoing series that I have produced independently and in partnership with Atlas Obscura. My concept is a play on the idea of 'alternative facts.' For each edition there are six presentations, some real and some fake, some presented by real scientists and others by laymen, and the audience guesses what is true and who is real. I recruit scientists to present and to create presentations for non-scientists to present. I also write fake presentations myself, which involves immersing myself in the scholarly literature of fields as varied as stem cell research and wetland rehabilitation. The game has proved extremely challenging, with only two people guessing 100% of the questions correctly over the course of four editions, each of which had an audience of 100.

Test your powers of discernment by watching these videos of past presentations. No googling! Can you determine if the science is real or fake? What about the presenter?


The real science has included a talk on STEM programs, a discussion of recent research on the effects of testosterone levels on bonobos sexual behavior, an overview of Game Transfer Phenomena and a lecture on the spread of cholera in Haiti. Fake science has included false signs of alien communication and genetically engineered cockroaches.

If you are interested in presenting at a future edition of Real/Fake Science please get in touch!

The first edition was sponsored by Curious Elixirs, an exciting new non-alcoholic craft cocktail. Tickets included samples. The second and third editions took place at the newly restored Union Hall. In January 2018 Real/Fake came to Manhattan for the first time in an exciting new venue- Caveat.