Toxic Mix?: A Handbook of Science and Politics

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Toxic Mix?: A Handbook of Science and Politics takes a topic very much in the center of public debate in the last decade and places it in a revealing historical context. It follows the often contentious relationship of science and politics from the FDR era to the current Obama administration, highlighting the many highly charged moments when the two were in conflict.

Toxic Mix? ranges across the major areas of scientific inquiry with public policy implications, including atomic energy, space science, public health, stem cells, sexual reproduction, environmental science, global warming, and evolution, to examine important events where political imperatives and scientific research were at odds. In addition, the book looks at another important area where politics and science are at cross purposes; immigration—as many of our most accomplished degree earners are foreign born and are unable to stay and work in the United States. A final chapter analyzes the attempts by the early Obama administration to build public policy that embraces science rather than manipulates it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The work's currency and its broad coverage of many scientific issues, plus its readable style and reliance on the historical record, make it useful for introducing students to complex issues. A good addition to undergraduate research collections."


Library Journal

"Both the casual reader and the experienced advocate of one side or the other will enjoy these summaries of important issues, with black-and-white photos, chapter notes and references, and a practical index to enhance the experience. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries."



Library Journal
Foerstel (retired head of branch libraries, Univ. of Maryland, College Park) is a board member of the National Security Archive and has previously written works on the First Amendment and science issues. In this book, he takes the relationship between politics and science and places it in a historical context dating back from the 1940s to the current era in American history. The book begins with an introduction briefly tracing the involvement of the American federal government in scientific initiatives from World War II, the cold war, and the space race to the Reagan administration's politicization of science, the Republican revolution of the 1990s, and the Bush administration. What follows are nine chapters on the government's involvement with particular areas of science, e.g., nuclear science, aviation, the environment, and health. The tenth and final chapter provides information about the Obama administration's transition into office and covers advice offered to the new President as well as indications as to how his administration will approach science. Each chapter concludes with a list of works cited. The book ends with an appendix covering private organizations involved in science and politics. BOTTOM LINE The work's currency and its broad coverage of many scientific issues, plus its readable style and reliance on the historical record, make it useful for introducing students to complex issues. A good addition to undergraduate research collections.—Samantha Schmehl Hines, Univ. of Montana Lib., Missoula
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313362347
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 Atomic Politics 1

2 The Politics of Space Science 25

3 The Politics of Sexual Reproduction 49

4 The Politics of Stem Cells 65

5 The Heated Politics of Global Warming 83

6 The Politics of Nature 105

7 The Politics of Public Health 129

8 The Politics of Evolution 153

9 Science and the Politics of Xenophobia 173

10 The Promise of Political Change and Scientific Redemption 191

Appendix: A Survey of Private Organizations Involved in Science and Politics 215

Index 233

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