Fighting the Assault on Science in America
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In an era when science affects every aspect of our lives, antiscience views—from climate change denial to creationism to vaccine refusal—have become mainstream in America. Fool Me Twice argues that U.S. politicians and the media, neither possessing a sound knowledge or interest in science, are preventing the country from recognizing the solutions it urgently needs.
“Science,” writes Shawn Lawrence Otto, “is now central to most of our major policy challenges.” Yet his look at what he dubs “science politics” reveals the extent to which science is marginalized. During the 2008 presidential campaign, for example, none of the candidates was willing to partake in a debate focused on the major scientific issues of the day. This stance is especially striking, he argues, given that America’s founders had a healthy respect for scientific principles.
As scientists themselves increasingly absented themselves from shaping public policy during recent decades (with Carl Sagan, a prominent counterexample, criticized by fellow scientists for his political conscience), religious fundamentalists have picked up the charge, giving denialism a prominent voice on three fronts: the nature and age of the Earth and universe, the theory of evolution, and the origin and nature of life and reproduction. Some politicians suggest we should “teach the controversy,” as if there were a legitimate scientific debate over evolution’s truth. In the final part of his book, Otto outlines a proposal for reform, including a draft of an “American Science Pledge” that asks candidates to commit to knowledge-based solutions.
Fool Me Twice offers an eye-opening look at the factors driving America’s assault on science and the dangerous future this portends.
Hardcover Book : 256 pages
Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc. ( October 11, 2011 )
Item #: 13-474599
Product Dimensions: 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Product Weight: 24.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)