It was one hundred years ago that this hoax was perpetrated. The Guardian has an interesting article about who the perpetrators might have been.
The aim of the study, which will take weeks to complete, is simple. It has been set up to solve a mystery that has baffled researchers for 100 years: the identities of the perpetrators of the world's greatest scientific fraud, the Piltdown Hoax. Unearthed in a gravel pit at Piltdown in East Sussex and revealed to the outside world exactly a century ago, those shards of skull were part of a scientific scam that completely fooled leading palaeontologists. For decades they believed they were the remains of a million-year-old apeman, an individual who possessed a large brain but primitive jawbone and teeth.
The news of the Piltdown find, first released in late 1912, caused a sensation. The first Englishman had been uncovered and not only was he brainy, he was sporty.....
What I find interesting is how bad scientific method must have been to accept the hoax in the first place. Issues such as national pride obviously took precedence over objectivity. Thank goodness such bad science no longer takes place.