Unscientific America Unveiled

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As we've announced, our new book due out this Spring will be entitled Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.

We're in the final stages of editing the manuscript and will be able to say more about its content very soon, but for now, we're excited that we can finally show you the cover...

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Unfortunately most Amerikans are pretty illiterate all around and won't read this book.

Sorry but my cynicism meter is broken from overuse.

Yes, I saw it on Amazon yesterday. Are you handing out some advance copies for reviews?
Also, what's that supposed to be in the test tube?

Neat cover, congrats and much success

By Sciencefan (not verified) on 23 Jan 2009 #permalink

I think it is actually far more than just "scientific illiteracy" that threatens our future.

It is a profound lack of respect for science and for the role that it plays in our technological society.

The respect I am referring involves much more than having a high opinion of those who do science -- eg, seeing them as individuals of honesty and integrity who are contributing to society. The public does tend to hold scientists themselves in high regard.

But the respect I refer to involves taking the advice of scientists on scientific issues that the scientists know far more about than the general public (climate change, stem cells, evolution, etc)

Respect is NOT simply paying lip service to the work of scientists and then turning around and calling for the teaching of ID in public schools. Indeed, that is disrespect.

I would assume that "Unscientific America" probably has something to say about the respect issue, which is undoubtedly related to scientific illiteracy, but nonetheless a distinct issue, I think.

By Dark Tent (not verified) on 24 Jan 2009 #permalink

I agree with Dark Tent and would go further in saying that it's not just about respecting science and technology for providing practical benefits but science as a way of life and thought. It is not simply enough to appreciate the fact that science provides this or that gadget or technology. It is about recognizing science as the most powerful window that we have for understanding the world. It is about cultivating everyday thinking as subset of scientific thinking. It is about applying the same standard and protocol in judging political and social policies as scientists apply in their labs and classes. It is about a healthy respect for scientific temper.

I just noticed this post and I want to add on Jason R's comment. Whether it's real or not, the breaking test-tube looks like a really badly photoshopped image and I can't image that shattering a test-tube with liquid would look anything like that.

It's a cool picture for a novel cover, but if you are trying to convey serious talk about accuracy in science, it falls short. If I didn't know the authors, I'd probably bypass a book on a shelf with a picture like that.

I can only think of a few mediocre ideas right now. Perhaps take advantage of the blog to solicit better cover ideas or artists willing to work for a modest commission.

Congratulations on finishing the book!

I certainly do think our science illiteracy is a threat. I don't think the cure for it is people having more respect for science, it's more people understanding science. I read a lot from people who think we should have more faith in science. Science is not about faith, religion is.

I also don't think books about science being written by Art and English majors does us much good.

We have more than enough climate and environmental scientist too. We need more students who take an interest in real science like physics and chemistry.

By John Galt (not verified) on 29 Jan 2009 #permalink