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An impassioned call to arms, Unscientific America exhorts Americans to reintegrate science into public discourse—before it is too late.
Mooney, author of the bestselling The Republican War on Science, and Kirshenbaum, a marine scientist at Duke and former congressional science fellow, argue that the public ruckus caused when astronomers stripped Pluto of its planetary status demonstrates the disconnect between scientists and the general public, who share only a sense of mutual distrust. The authors place the blame for this squarely on both sides, as well as on the media (TV shows that misrepresent medical science and films that portray scientists as evil or nerdy), and plead for an improved level of discourse. But their repeated assertion that science and religion are compatible will not convince anyone who believes otherwise. Mooney showed his ideological colors in The Republican War on Science, and with their attacks on President Bush, he and his coauthor can't be accused of being nonpartisan here, despite their call for less partisan, nonideological debate. Some readers may also balk at paying $25 for a book nearly a third of which consists of notes and documentation. Nevertheless, Mooney and Kirshenbaum make valid arguments that can only help to further the public debate about these important issues. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Preface to the Paperback Edition ix
From a Scientist and a Writer xvii
1 Why Pluto Matters 1
2 Rethinking the Problem of Scientific Illiteracy 13
Part I The Rise and Cultural Decline of American Science
3 From Sputnik to Sagan 25
4 Third Culture, or Nerd Culture? 41
Part II Different Rifts, Still Divided
5 Science Escape 2008 53
6 Unpopular Science 67
7 Hollywood and the Mad Scientists 81
8 Bruising Their Religion 95
Part III The Future in our Bones
9 The Bloggers Cannot Save Us 109
10 Is Our Scientists Learning? 117
Conclusion: A New Mission for American Science 127
Posted July 17, 2013
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