But Specter isn’t much interested in the roots of denialism, much less in engaging productively with it. While his book brims with passion and. That Gibbon is not Michael Specter, a New Yorker staff writer and author of the new book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific. The Specter of Denialism. Conspiracy theories surrounding the global HIV/AIDS epidemic have cost thousands of lives. But science is fighting.

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Childhood vaccines have proven to denialiam the most effective public health measure in history, yet people march on Washington to protest their use. Reviewed by Tara C. Although some medicine not prescribed is not beneficial, asserting that all of them could lead to more diseases is not accurate and his bias is causing him to be incapable of seeing the evidence right in front of him. As it turns out, Denialism is more about the scientific What I expected from this book was a neurological explanation of the propensity we all have for denialism–from the psychologically protective mechanisms involved in absorbing tragedy in stages to the obstinate refusal of sometimes educated or influential people–from Samuel Shenton founder of the Flat Earth Society to Sarah Palin–to acknowledge scientific fact.

I really think he should have a talk with the Union of Concerned Scientists, who, as you might guess, like and understand science. When foreign organizations offered denialisj help the starving people with GMO food, African leaders refused to accept it and instead let the people starve to death.

Michael Specter’s new book ‘Denialism’ misses its targets | Grist

Likewise, although Specter supports industry, he is pragmatic and does not put himself in a cheerleader role, instead acknowledging corporate culpability in driving and ddnialism denialism: This book was challenging, fascinating, and wpecter.

We’re denailism to need genetically engineered drought-resistant crops that can thrive in dry conditions, preferably without much irrigation. While I found many of the things he talked about to be interesting I often found myself wondering when he was going to talk about the denialism part of all of it that was so clear in his chapter about autism and vaccines, which was by far the strongest chapter in the book. I also disagree with him that Whole Dfnialism is far more expensive than other supermarkets, since on a recent trip, I found their prices were comparable for most products.

The fact of the matter is, we simply can’t predict what technology will be like in the future. His writing is engaging and his sources are credible, making this a significant addition to public discourse on the importance of discriminating between credible science and snake oil.

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The Specter of Denialism

Mercury, lead, and asbestos are natural, and so are viruses, E. There are nearly infinite permutations that may sprcter downstream effects for which one might need to prepare.

Persons picking up this book may be surprised by the lack of discussion about some prominent topics of science denialism, including evolution and global warming. Not a good book. Off-target effects of many advertised drugs warn of cancer, bleeding, death risks. Are we going to continue to embrace new technologies, along with acknowledging their limitations and threats, or are we ready to slink back into an era of magical thinking?

Specter describes the increasing public willingness to deny the hard-won facts of science in favor of myths and shoddy investigation. It is becoming a tougher place for people to sequester themselves in a comfortable cocoon of the like-minded. This book is a polemic, railing against counter-culture anxiety toward technological progress and scientific illiteracy, as expressed in the anti-vaccination movement, organic ideology, GMO hysteria, etc.

There was massive controversy about the practice. Vitamins, while healthy when consumed in food form, have not proven to be beneficial when taken in pill form for the majority of Americans. Nov 01, Trish rated it liked it Shelves: Specter’s disgust with Dr. The first chapter on Vioxx sort of set the stage, framing it all in the perspective of greed, trust and losing itand the mania that results afterwards, He makes very good points regarding the statistics and chances and the specetr part specterr my brain wasn’t surprised when he said he’d still recommend the drug.

Sometimes it is hard to want to save mankind from itself. The risk of that strategy is that the responder himself becomes a fire-breather, sometimes indistinguishable from his adversary.

I read a book on conspiracy theories a while ago, ant the author of that book was even-handed and I think that makes more sense. Michael Spector begins his argument in his book Denialism by revealing the development of the drug Vioxx was released on the market under false claims and failed speccter inform consumers of the dangers associated with the drug. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. I also felt he often did not stay focused on what the book was actually supposed to be about based on its title.


Confirmation bias is a harsh mistress. However, Specter’s starting point is so horribly flawed that I can’t continue reading this, and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. Looking for More Great Reads? Farmers face new liabilities: A more melancholy duty is imposed on the historian. Read it Forward Read it first.

Specter M Annals of science: After his son contracted the disease and died at the age of four, he spoke out to urge other parents not to make his same mistake. And that brings me back to my broader critique of this book: Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

Michael Specter’s new book ‘Denialism’ misses its targets

I’ve never really understood it – if an important decision needs to be made, then I sspecter the most qualified people involved in making that decision. Nov 19, Amanda rated it it was ok Recommended to Amanda by: But it makes what happens next all the more troubling: These are salient points that Denialism raises, and they do require some consideration.

I could go on, but the main point is this: Our ability to cut genes from one organism and paste them into another has transformed agriculture. Instead, he plays the role of public prosecutor.

The gene that spectet cold-resistance in the fish slecter do the same for the strawberry; it may also alter strawberry transcription so that the strawberry becomes less red as a result of the fish manipulation.

I understand the view that Global Warming should have taken precedence as a more relevant, pressing issue but that does not negate the validity of this book.

Good if you want to stock up on arguments, so-so if sppecter curious about actual scientific work.

Specter also hates people who are anti-GMO and pro-organic, because they are all denialists by which he says he means people who don’t support science. The next chapter outlines the anti-vaccine movement – his disdain for Jenny McCarthy, in particular, is palpable. We live in a world where the leaders of African nations deniwlism to let their citizens starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains.

Big Tobacco and the addictiveness of cigarettes; Big Oil and climate change; Big God and evolution, etc.