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Early just six mentioned the words global warming or climate change the greatest policy challenge facing America To put that in perspective three uestions mentioned UFOsToday the world's major unsolved challenges all revolve around science By the 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 mainstreamFaced with the daunting challenges of an environment under siege an exploding populati The author identifies three anti science movements religious fundamentalism vested business interests and postmodern identity politics With enemies on all sides no wonder science is in troubleOtto includes suggestions for engaging various anti science advocates but this is not a book that would appeal to or convince someone in any of three groups mentioned above Hopefully scientists will reach out as sales representatives for the scientific method and for the science behind the issues where the press is playing up the controversy long after the science is settled I wish the book had focused on fighting the assault on science rather than primarily on the history of the assaultWhile packed with good information I felt like I was slogging through some chapters because it would be good for me Other sections really pulled me in Don t give up if you get to a weak section

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Fool Me Twice

On 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 weatherShawn 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 mos This is an important book for anyone who loves science As one who shudders when he hears beliefs put forth as facts and scientific theories described as unproven alternatives to eually viable answers it is comforting to read such a well reasoned and clearly written defense of the scientific process and the knowledge that it providesBut at the same time it is depressing because it is hard to argue the author s conclusion that the USA is and has been for some time on a downward slide from the top rank of countries in terms of its leadership in science education respect for scientists and its trust in reason over faith and opinion He discusses how journalists over the last several decades have dropped the ball in their responsibility to inform the public based on knowledge rather than opinion Perhaps it s a generation gap issue for me but I somehow missed the whole post modernist idea that it is only fair to give competing ideas eual weight even if one is based on hard won experimentally determined facts while the other is nothing than the opinion of an ideology Maybe that s why it seems to me that journalists today particularly the mainstream variety are afraid to really tackle sensitive but hugely important topics such as human population growth and its effectsHere s one of many great uotes If knowledge does not have primacy in public decision making then no truth can be said to be self evident and we are left with the tyranny of ideology enforced by might I found enlightening his description of why Al Gore s documentarybook An Inconvenient Truth not only failed to sway conservatives it hardened their positions The author says If you want to get people to vote against something particularly Republicans you need to get them angry about it not scared of it and if you want them to vote for something you sell them hope and freedom He adds that you need to make science the answer not the messenger and avoid using a partisan political figure as the spokespersonHis discussion of Garrett Hardin s concept the tragedy of the commons was similarly instructive We are no longer in an age where one smokestack or one high tech tuna boat won t make an impact on the common property of humankind I am appalled at the stupidity andor greed of politicians and those who voted for them who fail to understand this In a capitalistic and democratic system my freedom to do as I wish is moral and just to the degree that it does not reduce your freedom to do the same Perhaps I should not care because in one sense I have no dog in this hunt no children and yet I do care and this book only increased that feeling

Shawn Lawrence Otto à 8 characters

Whenever the people are well informed Thomas Jefferson wrote they can be trusted with their own governmentBut 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 percent of Congress with any professional background in science how can our government be trusted to lead us in the right directionWill the media save us Don't count on it Of the uestions directed to Fool Me MOBI #224 the candidates for president in This review is based on an Advanced Uncorrected Manuscript copyFrom the continuing battles over the teaching of evolution in our schools to those politicians that deny the validity of the scientific evidence of global climate change and to the celebrities that continue to publicly support the idea that vaccines are linked to autism in spite of the lack of supporting evidence it seems that science is under attack from all sides Science it is argued is no longer the solution but part of the problem Science is expensive and we need to cut research funding to pay for other higher priorities Anyone who pays any attention to the media has seen at least some of these messagesThis book provides some insights into the relationship of science and American freedom and democracy traces the history of various anti science forces and discusses why the responses of the scientific community have been inadeuate to reverse the anti science trend While it starts out with an overly combative tone in the first section to the point that I almost put the book down in disgust it uickly corrects itself and the following sections provide a clear analysis of how the enlightenment and science formed the basis for the American experiment in democracy from the very beginning and traces the history of the battles between science and a range of anti science forces in American historyAfter establishing how we arrived at the current situation where those that don t like the conclusions presented by scientific evidence feel free to simply ignore the evidence the author then explores the reasons why the attempts to counter these reactions have thus far proven ineffective The exploration of the psychological mechanisms of belief and authority help shed light on why the doomsday warnings about ignoring climate change only seem to make those that refuse to believe in climate change resistant to the evidence This same section provides specific suggestions that might provide effective ways to address the concerns of these people allowing for a rational debate and increasing the likelihood that a meaningful agreement might be reachedThis is an important book for anyone who is concerned by the anti science climate that pervades the American culture today It sheds light on how we got here and provides new insights into ways that we can try re establish science as the basis for increasing American freedom and for providing a solid foundation for the future


10 thoughts on “Fool Me Twice

  1. says:

    #ReadingIsResistance to lies The ones about science aren't far behind the whoppers the White House issued on Day 1 about the small

  2. says:

    This is an excellent book about the attitude toward science in America Both Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin strongly believed that science and knowledge are important to democracy and Timothy Ferris in his book The Science of Liberty Democracy Reason and the Laws of Nature showed how important democracy is to the development of science However and in our society science is either ignored or even assaulted on many frontsT

  3. says:

    This review is based on an Advanced Uncorrected Manuscript copyFrom the continuing battles over the teaching of evolution in our schools to those politicians that deny the validity of the scientific evidence of global climate change and to the celebrities that continue to publicly support the idea that vaccines are linked to autism in spite of the lack of supporting evidence it seems that science is under attack from all sides Science it i

  4. says:

    This may be the biggest problem facing America today Anti science crazies have hijacked a large percentage of public discourse One of the reasons I'm in education

  5. says:

    Note Received free advance reader copy from FirstReads programThis book explained so much to me about why the American political system is stuck in rhetoric and unwilling to base decisions on fact and sound judgment rather than political platform or party byline Otto outlines several factors for the degradation

  6. says:

    The author identifies three anti science movements religious fundamentalism vested business interests and postmodern identity politics With enem

  7. says:

    This is one of the best books I have read in years no joke I am a science teacher and continually shocked and frustrated by the number of students who say science is irrelevant to them Despite cool labs and structures I have in place This book chronicles the aspects of loss of respect for science including historical effects religion politics psychology rhetoric etc It is full of interesting ideas and anecdot

  8. says:

    This is an important book for anyone who loves science As one who shudders when he hears beliefs put forth as facts and scientific theories described as unproven alternatives to eually viable answers it is comforting to read such a well reasoned and clearly written defense of the scientific process and the knowledge that

  9. says:

    Wow This book is so worth reading Told from a scientist's perspective it informs about a wealth of subjects all linked giving evidence for claims describing why we have become so anti science scientists are largely to blameand offe

  10. says:

    Fool Me Twice provides a valuable perspective on the history of science in the US in terms of how it's been perceived and used in sh