Book review

Adventures in Ethics and Science

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Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic. by Frederick Grinnell Oxford University Press 2009 Scientists are not usually shy when it comes to voicing their frustration about the public’s understanding of how science works, or about the deficits in that understanding. Some lay this at the feet of an educational…

Book review: Wired for War.

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P.W. Singer New York: Penguin 2009 For some reason, collectively humans seem to have a hard time seeing around corners to anticipate the shape our future will take. Of those of us who remember email as a newish thing, I suspect most…

At long last, we review a book to which we have alluded in at least two previous posts. The book: The Periodic Table: Elements with Style, written by Adrian Dingle, illustrated by Simon Basher. (Boston: Kingfisher, 2007)

Paul A. Offit, M.D., Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. Columbia University Press, 2008. Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure examines the ways that uncertainties about autism’s causes have played out in the spheres of medical treatment, liability lawsuits, political hearings,…

Ronald A. Howard and Clinton D. Korver (with Bill Birchard), Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life. Harvard Business Press, 2008. I fully embrace the idea that ethics should not just be a subject of esoteric inquiry in philosophy departments but rather a central feature of…

Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. St. Martin’s Press, 1987. There are a few books on my shelf that I can read any given number of times without being bored or impatient. One of these is And the Band Played On, a painstaking work of journalism that never…

The foreshadowing last week was accurate. This week, we offer a review of Tentacles! Tales of the Giant Squid by Shirley Raye Redmond with illustrations by Bryn Barnard. Younger offspring: We should talk about my new squid book for the Friday Sprog Blog. Dr. Free-Ride: OK. What do you like about this book? Younger offspring:…

Book review: Intuition.

Allegra Goodman’s novel Intuition was published in 2006, and although I heard very good things about it, I was busy enough with other stuff that I didn’t chase down a copy to read it. Finally, last November, my department chair lent me her copy, insistent that I had to read it when I got a…

Book review: The Canon.

The average American’s lack of scientific literacy has become a common complaint, not only among scientists but also among those who see our economic prospects as a nation linked to our level of scientific know-how. Yet somehow, science has become an area of learning where it’s socially acceptable to plead ignorance. Adults leave the house…

Book review: Storm World.

When I was growing up in New Jersey, hurricanes were “on the radar” for us, one of many possible (if infrequent) weather patterns during summer and fall. Later, in my first semester of college in Massachusetts, the morning of my first broadcast on the college radio station was made memorable by the landfall of Hurricane…