Not a Scientist How Politicians Mistake Misrepresent and Utterly Mangle Science

Not a Scientist  How Politicians Mistake  Misrepresent  and Utterly Mangle Science Author Dave Levitan
ISBN-10 9780393353334
Release 2017-01-17
Pages 208
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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

Not a Scientist Author Dave Levitan
ISBN-10 039335332X
Release 2017-01-17
Pages 208
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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."



The Seasons Alter How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts

The Seasons Alter  How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts Author Philip Kitcher
ISBN-10 9781631492846
Release 2017-04-18
Pages 288
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A landmark work of environmental philosophy that seeks to transform the debate about climate change. As the icecaps melt and the sea levels rise around the globe—threatening human existence as we know it—climate change has become one of the most urgent and controversial issues of our time. For most people, however, trying to understand the science, politics, and arguments on either side can be dizzying, leading to frustrating and unproductive debates. Now, in this groundbreaking new work, two of our most renowned thinkers present the realities of global warming in the most human of terms—everyday conversation—showing us how to convince even the most stubborn of skeptics as to why we need to act now. Indeed, through compelling Socratic dialogues, Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller tackle some of the thorniest questions facing mankind today: Is climate change real? Is climate change as urgent as the “scientists” make it out to be? How much of our current way of life should we sacrifice to help out a generation that won’t even be born for another hundred years? Who would pay for the enormous costs of making the planet "green?" What sort of global political arrangement would be needed for serious action? These crucial questions play out through familiar circumstances, from an older husband and wife considering whether they should reduce their carbon footprint, to a first date that evolves into a passionate discussion about whether one person can actually make a difference, to a breakfast that becomes an examination over whether or not global warming is really happening. Entertaining, widely accessible, and thoroughly original, the result promises to inspire dialogue in many places, while also giving us a line of reasoning that explodes the so-far impenetrable barriers of obfuscation that have surrounded the discussion. While the Paris Agreement was an historic achievement that brought solutions within the realm of possibility, The Seasons Alter is a watershed book that will show us how to make those possibilities a reality.



Making Sense of Science

Making Sense of Science Author Cornelia Dean
ISBN-10 9780674059696
Release 2017-03-13
Pages 296
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Cornelia Dean draws on her 30 years as a science journalist with the New York Times to expose the flawed reasoning and knowledge gaps that handicap readers when they try to make sense of science. She calls attention to conflicts of interest in research and the price society pays when science journalism declines and funding dries up.



Where the River Flows

Where the River Flows Author Sean W. Fleming
ISBN-10 9781400885022
Release 2017-03-07
Pages 216
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Rivers are essential to civilization and even life itself, yet how many of us truly understand how they work? Why do rivers run where they do? Where do their waters actually come from? How can the same river flood one year and then dry up the next? Where the River Flows takes you on a majestic journey along the planet's waterways, providing a scientist's reflections on the vital interconnections that rivers share with the land, the sky, and us. Sean Fleming draws on examples ranging from common backyard creeks to powerful and evocative rivers like the Mississippi, Yangtze, Thames, and Congo. Each chapter looks at a particular aspect of rivers through the lens of applied physics, using abundant graphics and intuitive analogies to explore the surprising connections between watershed hydrology and the world around us. Fleming explains how river flows fluctuate like stock markets, what "digital rainbows" can tell us about climate change and its effects on water supply, how building virtual watersheds in silicon may help avoid the predicted water wars of the twenty-first century, and much more. Along the way, you will learn what some of the most exciting ideas in science—such as communications theory, fractals, and even artificial life—reveal about the life of rivers. Where the River Flows offers a new understanding of the profound interrelationships that rivers have with landscapes, ecosystems, and societies, and shows how startling new insights are possible when scientists are willing to think outside the disciplinary box.



Scienceblind

Scienceblind Author Andrew Shtulman
ISBN-10 9780465094929
Release 2017-04-25
Pages 320
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"A fascinating, empathetic book"-Wall Street Journal 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 War on Science

The War on Science Author Shawn Lawrence Otto
ISBN-10 9781571319524
Release 2016-06-07
Pages 514
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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.



The English Only Question

The English Only Question Author Dennis E. Baron
ISBN-10 0300056605
Release 1992-07-01
Pages 247
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Explores the political, legal, educational, and sociological implications of declaring English the official language of the U.S., and traces the history of American attitudes toward English and minority languages



Mama Lola

Mama Lola Author Karen McCarthy Brown
ISBN-10 0520925394
Release 2001-12-04
Pages 447
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Karen McCarthy Brown's classic book shatters stereotypes of Vodou by offering an intimate portrait of African-based religion in everyday life. She explores the importance of women's religious practices along with related themes of family and of social change. Weaving several of her own voices--analytic, descriptive, and personal--with the voices of her subjects in alternate chapters of traditional ethnography and ethnographic fiction, Brown presents herself as a character in Mama Lola's world and allows the reader to evaluate her interactions there. Startlingly original, Brown's work endures as an important experiment in ethnography as a social art form rooted in human relationships. A new preface, epilogue, bibliography, and a collection of family photographs tell the story of the effect of the book's publication on Mama Lola's life.



Desperados

Desperados Author Elaine Shannon
ISBN-10 9781491775981
Release 2015-09-01
Pages 540
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READ THE CAMARENA STORY AND FIND OUT WHY THE DRUG TRADE IS KILLING US. Desperados takes you to the front line of the drug wars. You'll come face to face to with: Swaggering, flamboyant drug lords who rule over immense empires; Federal police and government officials who are silent partners in the vicious drug trade; A CIA locked in a unholy relationship with the Mexican security police; The Regan administration's duplicitous and ambivalent fight against narcotics. In Desperados you'll learn firsthand about the isolation, vulnerability, and courage of DEA agents in Latin America. And you'll witness the harrowing murder of Enrique ("Kiki") Camarena, a dedicated agent who tried, against all odds, to secure one victory in this endless war. "A breathtaking, behind-the-scenes look at one of the major problems of our time" —The San Diego Tribune "Fast-paced and meticulously documented...reads like a thriller." —The Village Voice



Beyond Human

Beyond Human Author Eve Herold
ISBN-10 9781466842946
Release 2016-08-16
Pages 304
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Never before in the history of medicine has mankind faced such hope and peril as those of us poised to embrace the radical medical technologies of today. Eve Herold's Beyond Human examines the medical technologies taking shape at the nexus of computing, microelectronics, engineering, nanotechnology, cellular and gene therapies, and robotics. These technologies will dramatically transform our lives and allow us to live for hundreds of years. Yet, with these blessings come complicated practical and ethical issues, some of which we can predict, but many we cannot. Beyond Human taps the minds of doctors, scientists, and engineers engaged in developing a host of new technologies while telling the stories of some of the patients courageously testing the radical new treatments about to come into the market. Beyond Human asks the difficult questions of the scientists and bioethicists who seek to ensure that as our bodies and brains become ever more artificial, we hold onto our humanity. In this new world, will everyone have access to technological miracles, or will we end up living in a world of radical disparities? How will society accommodate life spans that extend into hundreds of years? Will we and our descendants be able to bring about the dream of a future liberated by technology, or will we end up merely serving the machines and devices that keep us healthy, smart, young, and alive?



How to Tame a Fox and Build a Dog

How to Tame a Fox  and Build a Dog Author Lee Alan Dugatkin
ISBN-10 9780226444215
Release 2017-03-23
Pages 240
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Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails and floppy ears that are as docile and friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs—they are foxes. They are the result of the most astonishing experiment in breeding ever undertaken—imagine speeding up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set out to do just that, by starting with a few dozen silver foxes from fox farms in the USSR and attempting to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real time in order to witness the process of domestication. This is the extraordinary, untold story of this remarkable undertaking. Most accounts of the natural evolution of wolves place it over a span of about 15,000 years, but within a decade, Belyaev and Trut’s fox breeding experiments had resulted in puppy-like foxes with floppy ears, piebald spots, and curly tails. Along with these physical changes came genetic and behavioral changes, as well. The foxes were bred using selection criteria for tameness, and with each generation, they became increasingly interested in human companionship. Trut has been there the whole time, and has been the lead scientist on this work since Belyaev’s death in 1985, and with Lee Dugatkin, biologist and science writer, she tells the story of the adventure, science, politics, and love behind it all. In How to Tame a Fox, Dugatkin and Trut take us inside this path-breaking experiment in the midst of the brutal winters of Siberia to reveal how scientific history is made and continues to be made today. To date, fifty-six generations of foxes have been domesticated, and we continue to learn significant lessons from them about the genetic and behavioral evolution of domesticated animals. How to Tame a Fox offers an incredible tale of scientists at work, while also celebrating the deep attachments that have brought humans and animals together throughout time.



Rebels

Rebels Author Peter De Rosa
ISBN-10 9780307422941
Release 2009-10-14
Pages 560
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"A WORK OF GREAT DRAMATIC POWER climaxing in the final hundred pages where he writes a full, searing narrative of the patriot leaders' last days . . . It's powerful stuff." --The Sunday Press (Ireland) On Easter Monday of 1916, a thousand Irish men and women, armed with pikes and rifles, took over the center of Dublin and proclaimed a republic. It was a rash, doomed, symbolic uprising, and the rebel leaders knew it. Crack British troops killed and wounded hundreds of the rebels in the week of fighting, and British artillery shells left Dublin's city center in ruins. But the Rising of 1916 was not in vain. The short-lived insurrection and the subsequent executions of sixteen rebel leaders galvanized the Irish people. The overthrow of seven centuries of British rule in Ireland began on Easter Monday, 1916. In Rebels, Peter de Rosa, author of the bestselling Vicars of Christ, tells the story of the 1916 Rising in all its terror and beauty. With the dramatic flair of a novelist and the scrupulous accuracy of a professional historian, de Rosa brings to life the people, passions, politics, and repercussions of this historic event. From the Trade Paperback edition.



The Death of Expertise

The Death of Expertise Author Tom Nichols
ISBN-10 9780190469412
Release 2017
Pages 272
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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.



Why I am not a scientist

Why I am not a scientist Author Jonathan M. Marks
ISBN-10 UOM:39076002810765
Release 2009
Pages 325
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This lively and provocative book casts an anthropological eye on the field of science in a wide-ranging and innovative discussion that integrates philosophy, history, sociology, and auto-ethnography. Jonathan Marks examines biological anthropology, the history of the life sciences, and the literature of science studies while upending common understandings of science and culture with a mixture of anthropology, common sense, and disarming humor. Science, Marks argues, is widely accepted to be three things: a method of understanding and a means of establishing facts about the universe, the facts themselves, and a voice of authority or a locus of cultural power. This triple identity creates conflicting roles and tensions within the field of science and leads to its record of instructive successes and failures. Among the topics Marks addresses are the scientific revolution, science as thought and performance, creationism, scientific fraud, and modern scientific racism. Applying his considerable insight, energy, and wit, Marks sheds new light on the evolution of science, its role in modern culture, and its challenges for the twenty-first century.



The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge Author Abraham Flexner
ISBN-10 9781400884629
Release 2017-02-06
Pages 104
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A forty-year tightening of funding for scientific research has meant that resources are increasingly directed toward applied or practical outcomes, with the intent of creating products of immediate value. In such a scenario, it makes sense to focus on the most identifiable and urgent problems, right? Actually, it doesn't. In his classic essay "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge," Abraham Flexner, the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the man who helped bring Albert Einstein to the United States, describes a great paradox of scientific research. The search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also to the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs. In short, no quantum mechanics, no computer chips. This brief book includes Flexner's timeless 1939 essay alongside a new companion essay by Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Institute's current director, in which he shows that Flexner's defense of the value of "the unobstructed pursuit of useless knowledge" may be even more relevant today than it was in the early twentieth century. Dijkgraaf describes how basic research has led to major transformations in the past century and explains why it is an essential precondition of innovation and the first step in social and cultural change. He makes the case that society can achieve deeper understanding and practical progress today and tomorrow only by truly valuing and substantially funding the curiosity-driven "pursuit of useless knowledge" in both the sciences and the humanities.



Rigor Mortis

Rigor Mortis Author Richard Harris
ISBN-10 9780465097913
Release 2017-04-04
Pages 288
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Named by Amazon as one of the "Best Nonfiction Books of the Month" "A rewarding read for anyone who wants to know the unvarnished truth about how science really gets done." --Financial Times American taxpayers spend $30 billion annually funding biomedical research, but over half of these studies can't be replicated due to poor experimental design, improper methods, and sloppy statistics. Bad science doesn't just hold back medical progress, it can sign the equivalent of a death sentence for terminal patients. In Rigor Mortis, Richard Harris explores these urgent issues with vivid anecdotes, personal stories, and interviews with the top biomedical researchers. We need to fix our dysfunctional biomedical system--before it's too late. "Rigor Mortis effectively illustrates what can happen when a convergence of social, cultural, and scientific forces . . . conspires to create a real crisis of confidence in the research process." --Science "Harris makes a strong case that the biomedical research culture is seriously in need of repair." --Nature