Not A Scientist How Politicians Mistake Misrepresent And Utterly Mangle Science

Author: Dave Levitan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393353338
Size: 23.33 MB
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An eye-opening tour of the political tricks that subvert scientific progress. The Butter-Up and Undercut. The Certain Uncertainty. The Straight-Up Fabrication. Dave Levitan dismantles all of these deceptive arguments, and many more, in this probing and hilarious examination of the ways our elected officials attack scientific findings that conflict with their political agendas. The next time you hear a politician say, "Well, I’m not a scientist, but…," you’ll be ready.

Not A Scientist

Author: Dave Levitan
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780393353327
Size: 75.84 MB
Format: PDF
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In 1980, Ronald Reagan created one of the dumbest talking points of all time: I m not a scientist, but . . . Since then, politicians have repeatedly committed egregious transgressions against scientific knowledge prefaced by this seemingly innocuous phrase. Yet, as science journalist Dave Levitan reveals, that line is just the tip of the melting iceberg when it comes to rhetorical tools wielded to attack scientific findings that don t cooperate with political agendas. Just listen to Mike Huckabee dismiss climate change as a sunburn, Donald Trump suggest that vaccines cause autism, or Todd Akin s infamous invention of legitimate rape. With a taxonomer s eye, Levitan captures and categorizes these deceptions by chapter, assigning delightful names like The Butter-Up and Undercut, The Literal Nitpick, The Straight-Up Fabrication, and many more. His sharpelbowed humor dismantles our leaders deceptive arguments while illuminating the real science behind the worst soundbites from our elected nonscientists."

Why I Am Not A Scientist

Author: Jonathan Marks
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520259602
Size: 71.13 MB
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"Highly readable and informative, this critical series of vignettes illustrates a long history of the corruption of science by folk beliefs, careerism, and sociopolitical agendas. Marks repeatedly brings home the message that we should challenge scientists, especially molecular geneticists, before we accept their results and give millions of dollars in public and private funds toward their enterprises."—Russell Tuttle, The University of Chicago “Jonathan Marks has produced a personal and compelling story of how science works. His involvement in scientific endeavor in human biology and evolution over the past three decades and his keen sense of the workings of science make this book a must read for both scientists and lay readers. In this sense, the lay reader will learn how scientists should and shouldn't think and some scientists who read this book will come away thinking they are truly not scientists nor would they want to be.”—Rob DeSalle, American Museum of Natural History “Jonathan Marks's Why I Am Not a Scientist provides food for thought, and as expected, it's digestible. In unusually broad perspective, this anthropology of knowledge considers science and race and racism, gender, fraud, misconduct and creationism in a way that makes one proud to be called a scientist.”—George J. Armelagos, Emory University

Plutocrats

Author: Chrystia Freeland
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101595949
Size: 71.27 MB
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A Financial Times Best Book of the Year Shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but recently what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Forget the 1 percent—Plutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at breakneck speed. Most of these new fortunes are not inherited, amassed instead by perceptive businesspeople who see themselves as deserving victors in a cutthroat international competition. With empathy and intelligence, Plutocrats reveals the consequences of concentrating the world’s wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Propelled by fascinating original interviews with the plutocrats themselves, Plutocrats is a tour de force of social and economic history, the definitive examination of inequality in our time.

Fool Me Twice

Author: Shawn Lawrence Otto
Publisher: Rodale
ISBN: 1609613201
Size: 75.18 MB
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WINNER of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for nonfiction "One of the most important books published in America in the last decade." - TV News Anchor and columnist Don Shelby "Whenever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." But what happens in a world dominated by complex science? Are the people still well-enough informed to be trusted with their own government? And with less than 2 percent of Congress with any professional background in science, how can our government be trusted to lead us in the right direction? Will the media save us? Don't count on it. In early 2008, of the 2,975 questions asked the candidates for president just six mentioned the words "global warming" or "climate change," the greatest policy challenge facing America. To put that in perspective, three questions mentioned UFOs. Today the world's major unsolved challenges all revolve around science. By the 2012 election cycle, at a time when science is influencing every aspect of modern life, antiscience views from climate-change denial to creationism to vaccine refusal have become mainstream. Faced with the daunting challenges of an environment under siege, an exploding population, a falling economy and an education system slipping behind, our elected leaders are hard at work ... passing resolutions that say climate change is not real and astrology can control the weather. Shawn Lawrence Otto has written a behind-the-scenes look at how the government, our politics, and the media prevent us from finding the real solutions we need. Fool Me Twice is the clever, outraged, and frightening account of America's relationship with science--a relationship that is on the rocks at the very time we need it most.

The War On Science

Author: Shawn Lawrence Otto
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
ISBN: 1571319522
Size: 72.35 MB
Format: PDF
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"Wherever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." But what happens when they are not? In every issue of modern society--from climate change to vaccinations, transportation to technology, health care to defense--we are in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of scientific progress and a simultaneous expansion of danger. At the very time we need them most, scientists and the idea of objective knowledge are being bombarded by a vast, well-funded, three-part war on science: the identity politics war on science, the ideological war on science, and the industrial war on science. The result is an unprecedented erosion of thought in Western democracies as voters, policymakers, and justices actively ignore the evidence from science, leaving major policy decisions to be based more on the demands of the most strident voices. Shawn Otto’s compelling new book investigates the historical, social, philosophical, political, and emotional reasons why evidence-based politics are in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise on both left and right, and provides some compelling solutions to bring us to our collective senses, before it's too late.

Scienceblind

Author: Andrew Shtulman
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465094929
Size: 30.20 MB
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Humans are born to create theories about the world--unfortunately, they're usually wrong, and keep us from understanding the world as it really is Why do we catch colds? What causes seasons to change? And if you fire a bullet from a gun and drop one from your hand, which bullet hits the ground first? In a pinch we almost always get these questions wrong. Worse, we regularly misconstrue fundamental qualities of the world around us. In Scienceblind, cognitive and developmental psychologist Andrew Shtulman shows that the root of our misconceptions lies in the theories about the world we develop as children. They're not only wrong, they close our minds to ideas inconsistent with them, making us unable to learn science later in life. So how do we get the world right? We must dismantle our intuitive theories and rebuild our knowledge from its foundations. The reward won't just be a truer picture of the world, but clearer solutions to many controversies-around vaccines, climate change, or evolution-that plague our politics today.

The Death Of Expertise

Author: Tom Nichols
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190469439
Size: 29.98 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.

Secret Science Of Superheroes

Author: Mark Lorch
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 1782624872
Size: 13.39 MB
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Ever wondered what a superhero eats for breakfast? Do they need a special diet to feed their superpowers? The odd metabolisms of superheroes must mean they have strange dietary needs, from the high calorie diets to fuel flaming bodies and super speeds, to not so obvious requirements for vitamins and minerals. The Secret Science of Superheroes looks at the underpinning chemistry, physics and biology needed for their superpowers. Individual chapters look at synthesising elements on demand, genetic evolution and what superhero suits could be made of. By exploring these topics, the book introduces a wide range of scientific concepts, from protein chemistry to particle physics for a general scientifically interested audience. With contributions from leading science communicators the book hopes to answer some of these important questions rather than debunk or pick holes in the science of superheroes.

Curiosity

Author: Philip Ball
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022604579X
Size: 61.49 MB
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Explores the evolution of curiosity from stigma to scientific stimulus through a look at the inventions and discoveries made between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and details how curiosity functions in science today.