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

by

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

In 1980, Ronald Reagan created one of the dumbest talking points of all time:

“I’m not a scientist, but . . .”

Since then, politicians have repeatedly committed egregious transgressions against scientific knowledge prefaced by this seemingly innocuous phrase. Yet, as science journalist Dave Levitan reveals, that line is just the tip of the melting iceberg when it comes to rhetorical tools wielded to attack scientific findings that don’t cooperate with political agendas. Just listen to Mike Huckabee dismiss climate change as “a sunburn,” Donald Trump suggest that vaccines cause autism, or Todd Akin’s infamous invention of “legitimate rape.”

With a taxonomer’s eye, Levitan captures and categorizes these deceptions by chapter, assigning delightful names like “The Butter-Up and Undercut,” “The Literal Nitpick,” “The Straight-Up Fabrication,” and many more. His sharpelbowed humor dismantles our leaders’ deceptive arguments while illuminating the real science behind the worst soundbites from our elected non-scientists.

Title:Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science
Edition Language:English
ISBN:039335332X
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:208 pages
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    Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science Reviews

  • Atila Iamarino
    Jun 12, 2017

    Um livro bastante interessante sobre como políticos desprezam, mal tratam ou distorcem ciência para passar a agenda política. Geralmente começando com a frase "Não sou cientista, mas..." Os exemp...

  • jeanmarie
    Mar 28, 2017

    This book is well-written, interesting, packed full of interesting anecdotes and delivers exactly what it says it will: the many (13) ways politicians get science wrong. So why 3 stars? Honestly, I fe...

  • Erin
    Mar 07, 2017

    Available in April 2017 Science doesn't sit by itself, alone in a lab coat, pondering the mysteries of the universe with little outside influence or consequence. When politicians mistake scientific is...

  • Richard
    Mar 09, 2017

    Considering that the White House is currently occupied by the most disingenuous president in America's history, this book is a must read for anyone interested in recognizing how science is misused to ...

  • Melora
    May 31, 2017

    Sigh. Hard not to appreciate the relevance of this when the president is currently threatening to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Why not, after all, since, as he's explained, “T...

  • Siobhan
    Apr 19, 2017

    The publication timing of this book is extremely appropriate. Not just because of our current political climate, but also literally -- debuting in April, it's something that I would want to assign as ...

  • Robert Hausladen
    Mar 30, 2017

    A read disappointment. Lack of clear critical thinking about what science can and cannot do and about the role of politics in society....

  • David Kent
    Jun 09, 2017

    I tag this is an important book that everyone should read, while recognizing that the people who need it most will refuse to do so. The main title is derived from the oft-heard refrain from Republican...

  • Jules
    Apr 27, 2017

    Any time I hear "I'm not a __(your expert here)___ but," I stop listening. I'm always reminded of Robert Young's, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." I was dubious at 14, and I'm completely dism...

  • Meg
    Aug 04, 2016

    I laughed, I groaned. I laughed, I groaned. That's my best summary of my experience reading this book. It was entirely enjoyable except when I considered the fact that these men (and a few women) dire...