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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Specter seems both angry and defensive throughout this book – which he certainly has a right to be. Yet Specter ignores a more recent paper this one fromby the U.

The Specter of Denialism | The Scientist Magazine®

But the book was nevertheless disappointing. That’s the only way we can know more about them in a way that allows us to possibly control and direct how such things will affect and benefit us later, or at least mitigate their deleterious effects. He then looks at the loony anti-vaccination quacks who believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that vaccines cause autism and Specter gets it exactly right. He does not shy away from discussing the real limits of our scientific feats, but focuses his energy on those places where irrational overreaction to these events has taken over to great detrimental effect.

Although some medicine not prescribed is not beneficial, asserting that all of them could specetr to more diseases is not accurate and his bias is causing him to be incapable of seeing denialim evidence right in front of him.

For some denialixm, Specter devotes the final two chapters of his book to wild speculations about the future of genetics and synthetic biology. There is a current movement of people lead by former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy who are opposed to vaccines because they think they cause autism.

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Many vitamins taken in pill form don’t get absorbed by the body and just end up passing right through the digestive system. I s;ecter expect it to. Dec 20, Donna rated it really liked it Shelves: And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed.

The next chapter outlines the anti-vaccine movement – his disdain for Denialsim McCarthy, in particular, is palpable. Not with slecter knowledge we have about genomics right now, and certainly not in About Denialism In this provocative and headline-making book, Michael Specter confronts the widespread fear spectter science and its terrible toll on individuals and the planet.

This book was challenging, fascinating, and enlightening. GM farmers may become liable for adventitious presence if it causes loss of market certification and income to neighboring organic farmers, and conventional farmers may become liable to GM seed producers if transgenes are detected in their crops.

I can see Jenny McCarthy. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. The FDA was asleep at the switch. If you don’t know something in science, then you are allowed to say that you don’t know. Reviewed by Tara C. Inspired by Your Browsing History.

These people are all truly in denial. Over fifty people have been diagnosed with measles from that outbreak. He points out that we have taken what he calls a “Hollywood approach” to risk – failing to think twice about getting inside a car, which actually IS quite specer to our well-being, while expending great effort to avoid even the tiniest amount of theoretical risk in, say, eating a conventionally grown banana. In this provocative and headline-making book, Michael Specter confronts the widespread fear of science and its terrible toll on individuals and the planet.

He writes about the lack of evidence for organic food and spdcter therapies. The early chapters bounce from vaccines to Vioxx, Complementa Confirmation bias is a harsh mistress.


In the middle part of the ce Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly interested in the gap between scientific and technological developments and the public perception of those developments.

The issues may be complex but the choices are not: The author is freque This book is a polemic, railing dennialism counter-culture anxiety toward technological progress and scientific illiteracy, as expressed in the anti-vaccination movement, organic ideology, GMO hysteria, etc. Jun 05, Anthony Faber rated it really liked it.

The Specter of Denialism

The final spectef talks about synthetic biology and some not-so-distant possibilities for sticky ethical applications. By the end I got the feeling that Specter was primarily an optimist who just likes scientists as people and gets annoyed with idiotic conspi An OK survey of ‘deniers’ of modern science such as the anti-vaccine or alternative healing crowds.

He doesn’t take seriously enough the fact that even the most pro-science among us have good reasons to distrust corporations and governments.

The incredibly combative subtitle, How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens our Livesis not an open invitation to the science-illiterate to seek enlightenment. Of course it would have been nice, but I’m against the idea that people should not promote awareness without also providing a solution except for when it’s used as a political tactic to avoid actual discussion of solutions.

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One thoughtful review noted that the author failed to distinguish between science and technology e. Our ability to cut genes from one organism and paste them into another has transformed agriculture.