New Mother Jones Issue Soon on Newstands

By Chris Mooney | April 19, 2011 9:03 pm

My Mother Jones piece, “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science,” is now the most read article on the magazine’s site for two days running–with 250 comments, 1100 Tweets, and over 7,000 Facebook likes.

I knew this article would resonate, but not this much! Big Tweets by places like Wired definitely helped.

The article happens to be one key piece of a new book project, about which, more soon.

But the piece is really too long for reading online–it’s meant to be read in print, and here is the cover of the magazine issue soon to be on newsstands, containing my article and, some related stuff.

Pretty memorable, I’d say.

Comments (2)

  1. I’m really glad the article is getting lots of attention. Speaking only for myself, though, I was a little disappointed by it. Maybe that’s because most (all?) of the information was stuff I was already familiar with from following your blogging, where it has formed some of the most interesting items over the last few months, so when I saw this article I got all excited, thinking, “oh, yes! A detailed, magazine-length treatment of the same subject matter, only with lots more depth!” And then I read it, and kept waiting for the “more depth” to kick in, and ended up feeling like it never did.

    The links to things like Kahan’s original research certainly _do_ provide that depth, and I’m enjoying reading through that, and maybe it’s unrealistic of me to think that a readership like the Mother Jones subscriber base is going to sit still for the level of detail that I was expecting. Maybe it’s more _me_ that’s changed over the last decade or so: I’ve become used to the idea that I can drill down on any subject of interest, and follow some links and hit a few Wikipedia articles and do some googling and pretty much get as deep into a subject as I can handle, such that a general-interest-magazine treatment is necessarily going to come off as somewhat shallow by comparison. But it felt a little to me like the TV documentaries I’ve become fed up with in the last few years: They throw in some computer graphics, and a few brief talking-head interviews with a scientist making a provocative statement, but then they never go far enough in covering the detail. It’s all superficial, in the way that this article felt kind of superficial to me: an interesting concept laid out, a pithy quote, and then boom, on to the next factoid. I wanted more meat, more of a story, more drama.

    The podcast you did with Dan Kahan a while back was fantastic — and significantly more interesting, at least for me, than the treatment of the same subject matter in the article. I wanted the article to go further into the question of leftist/progressive (okay, communitarian/egalitarian) vs. rightist/libertarian (individualist/hierarchical) self-delusion. Are the two really equivalent? What are the implications of that for the larger question of societal responses to things like climate change?

    What about the example Kahan brought up in the podcast interview about leftist views regarding the scientific consensus on the safety of sequestration of nuclear waste? You touched on it briefly in the article, but it was barely a glancing blow. Kevin Drum had a comment today in which he accused you of “wrenching your spine out of shape” to come up with the anti-vaxxer example, and I’m sure that in the 147 comments that that item has as of now, along with the oodles of comments on your various blog entries pointing to the Mother Jones piece, and on that piece itself, there’s lots more in-depth discussion of these points, and maybe that’s where I should go digging for detail, if that’s what I want.

    I just wish there could have been more of it in the article itself. But again, that’s quite possibly just me being unrealistic.

    On a positive note, thanks for thinking and writing about this issue. I’ll be first in line to pre-order the book as soon as it becomes available. Maybe I’ll get the depth I’m looking for there. :-)

  2. Libertarianism reject the falso choices between e.g. the individual and community, and many are offended by being characterized by what many feel are bigots as rightists. To see what world Libertarians are doing please see: http://www.LibertarianInternational.org

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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