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1 Beaverton Science Reference- General

This title in other editions

Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Comprehensive, readable, and replete with current, useful examples, this book provides a much-needed explanation of how to be a critical consumer of the scientific claims we encounter in our everyday lives.”

–April Cordero Maskiewicz, Department of Biology, Point Loma Nazarene University

 

“Seethaler’s book helps the reader look inside the workings of science and gain a deeper understanding of the pathway that is followed by a scientific finding–from its beginnings in a research lab to its appearance on the nightly news.”

–Jim Slotta, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

 

“How I wish science was taught this way! Seethaler builds skills for critical thinking and evaluation. The book is rich with examples that not only illustrate her points beautifully, they also make it very interesting and fun to read.”

–Julia R. Brown, Director, Targacept, Inc.

 

Don’t Get Hoodwinked! Make Sense of Health and Science News...and Make Smarter Decisions!

 

Every day, there’s a new scientific or health controversy. And every day, it seems as if there’s a new study that contradicts what you heard yesterday. What’s really going on? Who’s telling the truth? Who’s faking it? What do scientists actually know—and what don’t they know? This book will help you cut through the confusion and make sense of it all—even if you’ve never taken a science class! Leading science educator and journalist Dr. Sherry Seethaler reveals how science and health research really work...how to put scientific claims in context and understand the real tradeoffs involved...tell quality research from junk science...discover when someone’s deliberately trying to fool you...and find more information you can trust!  Nobody knows what new controversy will erupt tomorrow. But one thing’s for certain: With this book, you’ll know how to figure out the real deal—and make smarter decisions for yourself and your family!

 

Watch the news, and you’ll be overwhelmed by snippets of badly presented science: information that’s incomplete, confusing, contradictory, out-of-context, wrong, or flat-out dishonest. Defend yourself! Dr. Sherry Seethaler gives you a powerful arsenal of tools for making sense of science. You’ll learn how to think more sensibly about everything from mad cow disease to global warming–and how to make better science-related decisions in both your personal life and as a citizen.

 

You’ll begin by understanding how science really works and progresses, and why scientists sometimes disagree. Seethaler helps you assess the possible biases of those who make scientific claims in the media, and place scientific issues in appropriate context, so you can intelligently assess tradeoffs. You’ll learn how to determine whether a new study is really meaningful; uncover the difference between cause and coincidence; figure out which statistics mean something, and which don’t.

 

Seethaler reveals the tricks self-interested players use to mislead and confuse you, and points you to sources of information you can actually rely upon. Her many examples range from genetic engineering of crops to drug treatments for depression...but the techniques she teaches you will be invaluable in understanding any scientific controversy, in any area of science or health.

 

^   Potions, plots, and personalities: How science progresses, and why scientists sometimes disagree

^   Is it “cause” or merely coincidence? How to tell compelling evidence from a “good story”

^   There are always tradeoffs: How to put science and health claims in context, and understand their real implications

^   All the tricks experts use to fool you, exposed! How to recognize lies, “truthiness,” or pseudo-expertise

Review:

"When judging media reports on science, one person's fact is another person's hooey, and in this brisk little book Seethaler helps readers decide for themselves which is which. Seethaler, a science writer and columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, begins by explaining how the scientific process works in reality versus popular belief, and then discusses such subjects as how to identify the stakeholders in a scientific controversy and how science and public policy intersect. The author suggests other questions: what advocacy groups are the source for information reported in articles? is a 'trend' really just a temporary blip in the data? Seethaler offers concrete advice on how to sort through such matters ('Beware of the 'Lake Wobegon effect' '), as well as useful tables and charts. While science buffs will be familiar with most of the material, news consumers who are puzzled by scientific debates will learn how to make sense of them, and high school and beginning college science students will find the book useful for putting science in a real-world context." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Sherry Seethaler, a science writer and educator at the University of California, San Diego, works with scientists to explain their discoveries to the public. She also writes a column for the San Diego Union-Tribune answering readers’ questions about science. Seethaler holds an M.S. and Master of Philosophy in biology from Yale, and a Ph.D. in science and math education from UC Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1: Potions, plot, personalities: understand how science progresses and why scientists sometimes disagree

“The scientific method”–not as easy as pi

What’s all this talk about controversy?

From watering hole to prime time–birth and development of an idea

Chapter 2: Who’s who?: identify those who hold stake in an issue and what their positions are

People, positions, purposes

Chapter 3: Decisions, decisions: elucidate all the pros and cons of a decision

From black and white to vibrant technicolor

Say “yes” to one and leave the other behind

Chapter 4: Compare and contrast: place alternatives in an appropriate context to evaluate tradeoffs

Context connections

Putting it all together

Chapter 5: What happens if…?: distinguish between cause and coincidence

Cause and effect–finding the culprit

Chapter 6: Specific or general: recognize how broadly the conclusions from a study may be applied

Individuals: consider whether a result collected in one test population applies to another

Locale: consider how applicable studies of one community or geographical region are to other locales

Conditions: consider the possible effects of a change in conditions on experimental findings or their applicability

Time: consider whether findings would be influenced by time, either the period of history or the duration of the study

Chapter 7: Fun figures: see through the number jumble

Elucidate hidden confounding factors

Determine whether the numbers are statistically significant

Determine whether the numbers are statistically meaningful

Make sure the statistics apply to the situation

Watch out for selection bias

Ask whether a statistical change reflects reality or the way the data were collected

Putting it all together

Chapter 8: Society’s say: discern the relationships between science and policy

Morals and money–influences on the progress of science

From scientific results to policy decisions–more morals and money

Chapter 9: All the tricks in the book: get past the ploys designed to simply bypass logic

Quirks of logic

Hearts and guts

Chapter 10: Fitting the pieces together: know how to seek information to gain a balanced perspective

Peeling back the layers

Claims and caveats–case studies

Information sleuthing

Conclusion: twenty essential applications of the tools

Understand how science progresses and why scientists sometimes disagree

Identify those who hold stake in an issue and what their positions are

Elucidate all the pros and cons of a decision

Place alternatives in an appropriate context to evaluate tradeoffs

Distinguish between cause and coincidence

Recognize how broadly conclusions from a study may be applied

See through the number jumble

Discern the relationships between science and policy

Get past the ploys designed to simply bypass logic

Know how to seek information to gain a balanced perspective

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780137155224
Author:
Seethaler, Sherry
Publisher:
FT Press
Subject:
Communication in science
Subject:
Global warming
Subject:
Teaching Methods & Materials - Science & Technology
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Science Reference-Essays
Copyright:
Publication Date:
January 2009
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9.10x6.20x1.00 in. .90 lbs.

Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » Essays
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » General

Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies Used Hardcover
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$17.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages FT Press - English 9780137155224 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When judging media reports on science, one person's fact is another person's hooey, and in this brisk little book Seethaler helps readers decide for themselves which is which. Seethaler, a science writer and columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, begins by explaining how the scientific process works in reality versus popular belief, and then discusses such subjects as how to identify the stakeholders in a scientific controversy and how science and public policy intersect. The author suggests other questions: what advocacy groups are the source for information reported in articles? is a 'trend' really just a temporary blip in the data? Seethaler offers concrete advice on how to sort through such matters ('Beware of the 'Lake Wobegon effect' '), as well as useful tables and charts. While science buffs will be familiar with most of the material, news consumers who are puzzled by scientific debates will learn how to make sense of them, and high school and beginning college science students will find the book useful for putting science in a real-world context." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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