To my mind, though, the really important parts of the book are Chapter 5 and Chapter 6, on political and media culture, respectively. They lay out in great and depressing detail just how the culture of science fails to match up with the ways that politics and the mass media work, and how it got to be this way. The problems really are huge, and if anything, they’re getting worse, not better.
He ends with:
This is a very good book, well argued and engagingly written. There’s a lot of good stuff here, and a lot of food for thought about the history and future of science in America. I suspect I’ll be boring you all with posts about different aspects of the book for most of this week. I recommend, though, that you pick up a copy and check it out for yourself. Even if you’ve read their blog, Unscientific America presents the most complete and coherent version of their basic policy argument you’re likely to find, and it’s well worth reading.
Read the full review here and check back at Uncertain Principles for more on Unscientific America all week. I think Chris will also be responding to this post by Orzel, in which he notes that he doesn’t like the phenomenon of “un-noted endnotes,” which we use aplenty….