Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future

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Climate change, the energy crisis, nuclear proliferation—many of the most urgent problems of the twenty-first century require scientific solutions, yet America is paying less and less attention to scientists. For every five hours of cable news, less than one minute is devoted to science, and the number of newspapers with science sections has shrunk from ninety-five to thirty-three in the last twenty years. In Unscientific America, journalist and best-selling author Chris Mooney and scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum explain this dangerous state of affairs, proposing a broad array of initiatives that could reverse the current trend.

An impassioned call to arms, Unscientific America exhorts Americans to reintegrate science into public discourse—before it is too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786744558
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 07/14/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 880,819
File size: 327 KB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Chris Mooney is the author of The Republican War on Science and Storm World. A Knight fellow in science journalism at MIT, he contributes to many publications, including Mother Jones, Wired, the Boston Globe, and Slate. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sheril Kirshenbaum is Associate in Research for Ocean and Coastal Policy at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

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

Notes 133

Index 199

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Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unscientific America is a fantastic book that tackles the the problem with scientific illiteracy in America with dynamic precision. Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum team up and create an influential pair. Together they wittily tackle the major problems and concerns that face our society today. Their love and concern for science and the world is clearly expressed throught there clever and ironic writing style. The chapters are named in an almost comical way and the chapters are well diversed. The book takes every-day ideas and events and explores them through a new and thought-provoking perspective. The clever ideas and resolutions are both inspirational and revolutionary. This book will cause anyone to have a change of heart abou the unique society of science. One will begin to embrace new ideas with caution but open mindedness. The stereotypical idea of scientists that I once had is now replaced by a new, more realistic view of the heartwarming intellectuals. I highly recommend this book. It will open a new idea of science vs. society and ease ones stereotypes of the scientific world.
MarkB14 More than 1 year ago
The book is written with extensive research and brings the understanding of science in our daily lives. A must read for politicians and scientists alike to bridge the gap. No other publicized book has come close to this one in decades.
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tom16 More than 1 year ago
Entire book could have been a long paragraph, meaningless dribble with almost halt the book taken up with notes, read the inside cover and you've just read the most interesting aspect of the book