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When judging media reports on science, one person's fact is another person's hooey, and in this brisk little book Seethaler helps readers decide for themselves which is which. Seethaler, a science writer and columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, begins by explaining how the scientific process works in reality versus popular belief, and then discusses such subjects as how to identify the stakeholders in a scientific controversy and how science and public policy intersect. The author suggests other questions: what advocacy groups are the source for information reported in articles? is a "trend" really just a temporary blip in the data? Seethaler offers concrete advice on how to sort through such matters ("Beware of the 'Lake Wobegon effect' "), as well as useful tables and charts. While science buffs will be familiar with most of the material, news consumers who are puzzled by scientific debates will learn how to make sense of them, and high school and beginning college science students will find the book useful for putting science in a real-world context. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.