How Science Works

How Science Works

by Stephen H. Jenkins
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195158946

ISBN-13: 9780195158946

Pub. Date: 02/29/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

One week, red wine is good for the heart. The next week, new reports say it's bad for the health. So which is true? Anyone who's ever read science news with fascination, or who's ever been confounded by conflicting stories will appreciate this book. Taking a look at some true to life contemporary news stories, the author assesses recent studies on topics ranging

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Overview

One week, red wine is good for the heart. The next week, new reports say it's bad for the health. So which is true? Anyone who's ever read science news with fascination, or who's ever been confounded by conflicting stories will appreciate this book. Taking a look at some true to life contemporary news stories, the author assesses recent studies on topics ranging from vitamin C and caffeine to pollution and cancer. With straight talk and a passion for the whole project of science, he demysifies the cult of the expert and sheds light on the nitty-gritty details of scientific processes. Any scientist loves a challenge, but the biggest challenge of all, observes Jenkins, is shared by scientists and nonscientitsts alike: how to make practical decisions in light of ambiguous evidence. Promising no simple answers, this book does offer excellent food for thought for people pondering that next glass of wine.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195158946
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/29/2004
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1Introduction3
2Do Vitamin C and Other Antioxidants Benefit Health? Using Observational and Experimental Studies to Test Medical Hypotheses14
3Can Police Dogs Identify Criminal Suspects by Smell? Using Experiments to Test Hypotheses about Animal Behavior36
4Why Are Frogs in Trouble? Complementary Observations and Experiments to Test Hypotheses in Ecology53
5How Do Animals Find Stored Food? Strong Inference by Testing Alternative Hypotheses73
6What Causes Cancer? The Complexities of Causation92
7Why Do We Age? Different Levels of Causation as Complementary Explanations112
8How Does Coffee Affect Health? Combining Results of Multiple Studies137
9How Will Climate Change Affect the Spread of Human Diseases? Models and the Perils of Prediction159
10Conclusion: How Science Works and Its Role in Society181
App. 1Using Data for Twins to Estimate Genetic and Environmental Contributions to the Risk of Cancer191
App. 2Precision and the Power of Statistical Tests193
Notes197
References207
Index219

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