Panicology: Two Statisticians Explain What's Worth Worrying about (and What's Not) in the 21st Century

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Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2009 - Psychology - 290 pages
3 Reviews
Are you afraid you might succumb to bird flu? Worried that a life of poverty awaits you in old age? Concerned that you might not be having as much sex as the French? Anxious that our planet is under threat from climate change or a collision with an asteroid? If any, or all, of these things worry you, you're not alone. Anxiety is a part of modern life. But why? We're living longer, safer, and healthier lives than at any time in human history. So what is there to worry about?

In this witty and revealing book, Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey-Williams strip away the hysteria that surrounds over forty of today's most common scare stories, from overpopulation and murder rates to fish shortages and obesity levels, and show the extraordinary extent to which statistics are manipulated or misrepresented by vested interests and the media, eager to exploit our fears. And most importantly they offer a toolkit for skepticism--ways of helping readers sort out what really is worth panicking about from the stuff that really isn't.

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User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

I should have backed away slowly when I saw the blurb that started "In the spirit of Freakonomics" because I didn't much like that either. This is a cute pop-science explanation of statistics, the ... Read full review

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User Review  - charlierb3 - LibraryThing

About: The authors explain how concerned or how unconcerned you should be about a bunch of media-hyped topics. Genetically modified foods, Earth annihilation (by terrorism, meteors, global warming ... Read full review

Selected pages


Sex Marriage and Children
Passing the Time
Social Policy
no work or low Pay
Law and Order
The Natural World
Our Declining Resources
Modern Science
Theyre Coming to Get
A Skeptics Toolkit

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About the author (2009)

Simon Briscoe holds a degree is social sciences and has worked in the civil service, investment banking, and has been the statistics editor at The Financial Times in the UK since 1999. He lives in London.

Hugh Aldersey-Williams is an author and journalist from the United Kingdom. Aldersey-Williams was educated at Highgate School and studied the natural sciences at the University of Cambridge. he is known for his bestselling book, Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc, which explains all the elements found in the periodic table and their origins. He has also written The Most Beautiful Molecule and Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body.

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