• There are plenty of contenders! It sounds like you mean deliberate hoax as opposed to blind self-delusion. In the world of mainstream academic science, where work is published in respected peer-reviewed journals, the bullshitters are usually smoked out quickly, and big ones make the news. They caught a guy painting black spots on white mice to fake that a skin graft from a black mouse had taken when it had actually failed. This was in the late 70s or early 80s & the perpetrator lost his career & his mentor and co-workers & uniersity were all embarrassed by it. I don't know of any cases where someone impersonated a scientist in order to ? hang out in the lab or something? No doubt it's happened. (Reminds me of the the movie with Leonardo Dicaprio & Tom Hanks called 'Catch Me If You Can'). In the world of pseudoscience and paranormal phenomena, a lot of grade-A baloney can be sold and bought cheaply because it's 'unregulated' and because human nature is to believe in what sounds good. It's a bullshitter's paradise, mostly operating below media radar.
  • L. Ron Hubbard
  • Not sure if he ever claimed to be an actual scientist, but my vote goes to Ferdinand Waldo Demara.
  • Well of the current era I would say Al Gore.
  • I would go for Claude Vorilhon, otherwise known as Raël. However, despite a large enough amount of followers, I think most people are sensible enough to not be fooled by this weirdo's claims. Not to mention that despite his advocacy for certain scientific subjects of sometimes rather questionable nature, other than saying aliens or Jesus told him to tell us this stuff, I don't think he works on so much technological and scientific progress more than he just does getting drunk, and laid. XD Either way in my opinion, this guy's a total fraud.

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