Elliot Ratzman's Reviews > Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future

Unscientific America by Chris C. Mooney
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Jul 30, 11

Read in July, 2011 — I own a copy

As a non-scientist, this short book was quite an eye-opener. Mooney’s first book, on the Bush admin’s scandalous relationship to Science (thinking ‘game theory’ was about sports) was well-received. This is a call-to-arms for scientists to get their act together to promote sci literacy and government funding—it turns out that most of our perceptions of science come from lame movies, savvy Creationists and inadequate high school sci ed. Science reporting, already minimal, has been cut in the papers and news. When scientists attempt to become popularizers—Carl Sagan’s case is discussed at some length—they are put down by narrow-minded colleagues. The sci PhD’s ordeal through narrow specialization, endless post-docs and few academic jobs is lamentable (and familiar). In sum: scientists must learn to communicate, lobby and promote science among policy-makers and the public. They also need to stop shooting themselves in the foot by dissing religion, the Humanities and the ‘ignorant’ masses.
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