The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - Political Science - 310 pages
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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 the most hopeful future for mankind.

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User Review  - cwhouston - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Dick Taverne was the Labour MP for Lincoln from 1962 to 1972, when he resigned to fight the famous Lincoln by-election as an independent social democrat in 1973, and won. In 1974 he wrote The Future of the Left, Lincoln and After (Jonathan Cape), which predicted the split in the Labour party that happened seven years later. He is now a Liberal-Democrat peer. Becoming gradually more and more concerned about the increasing mood of hostility and suspicion towards science, in 2002 he founded the association 'Sense About Science' to promote an evidence-based approach to scientific issues.

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