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Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


An eye-opening tour of the political tricks that subvert scientific progress.

The Butter-Up and Undercut. The Certain Uncertainty. The Straight-Up Fabrication. Dave Levitan dismantles all of these deceptive arguments, and many more, in this probing and hilarious examination of the ways our elected officials attack scientific findings that conflict with their political agendas. The next time you hear a politician say, "Well, I’m not a scientist, but…," you’ll be ready.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 31, 2016 – In this breezy read, science journalist Levitan contends that when politicians talk about science, "they end up spewing misinformation and errors virtually at every step." He goes on to argue that detecting these inaccuracies is fairly easy: "This book groups these rhetorical and logical errors into clear types to help you find them when they arise, and to cut through the misinformation once you've spotted them." He focuses on 12 such types, including cherry-picking facts, ignoring follow-up studies that yield contrarian results, ridiculing scientific studies by ignoring the context in which they were performed, and simply fabricating results. Levitan presents a range of examples that demonstrate his point, including controversies over fracking and vaccination, but he devotes most of his time to climate change, using political statements about the topic to illustrate most of his 12 types of error. In each case, he presents a politician's argument and then follows up with a readily understandable explication of the underlying science. The book is accessibly written but sarcasm-heavy, and it superficially flits from topic to topic. Levitan professes to focus on science, but his critique of politicians can be applied to virtually all disciplines and largely amounts to suggesting that constituents use critical thinking skills when listening to political speech.
Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Science & Nature
  • Published: Jan 17, 2017
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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