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In his nature

John Maddox is right to rubbish the end of science thesis-but should have followed his own advice about fact-checking

By John Gribbin   November 1998

More than 25 years ago, I learned my trade as a science writer on Nature magazine, when John Maddox reigned as editor. I quickly learned that his advice was invaluable; by following it, I soon made progress in my chosen profession. But I also discovered that the boss was bad at following his own advice. Maddox was (and is) such a fluent writer, with such a broad grasp of science, that he came to believe that he could write anything about anything, without always checking the facts. He usually wrote tight up against a deadline, so that the first draft…

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