The March of Unreason : Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism Paperback
by Dick Taverne
Our daily news bulletins bring us tales of the wonder of science, from Mars rovers and intelligent robots to developments in cancer treatment, and yet often the emphasis is on the potential threats posed by science.
It appears that irrationality is on the rise in western society, and public opinion is increasingly dominated by unreflecting prejudice and unwillingness to engage with factual evidence.
From genetically modified crops and food, organic farming, the MMR vaccine, environmentalism, the precautionary principle and the new anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements, the rejection of the evidence-based approach nurtures a culture of suspicion, distrust, and cynicism, and leads to dogmatic assertion and intolerance.
In this compelling and timely examination of science and society, Dick Taverne argues that science, with all the benefits it brings, is an essential part of civilised and democratic society: it offers us our most hopeful future.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 30/11/2006
- Category: Politics & government
- ISBN: 9780199205622
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Review by cwhouston
Finally someone has taken the time to offer a widely available and robust rebuttal to the nonsense on offer from the organic movement, homeopaths, anti-GM NGOs etc. Traverne does a wonderful job of explaining the role of science in society and how without a clear and consistent framework, reliant upon repeatability and peer review, then we would have no way of determining truth from 'whatever the snake-oil salesman says'. Previously, I had never considered how fundamental the concept of truth and the process for determining fact from 'intuition' was to supporting freedom and democracy - the author labours this point a touch, but it is well made.This is a superb book.