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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 sharp-elbowed humor dismantles our leaders' deceptive arguments while illuminating the real science behind the worst soundbites from our elected non-scientists.
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By Stephen Wight on 06-07-17
We've never needed a book like this more
This book is an excellent way to begin thinking critically over how politicians present science. As science policy becomes increasingly important in our daily lives it behoves us all to have the skills to recognize when or politicians are misrepresenting the science we use to guide us.
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