Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt: Science and the Battle for Public Trust

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CSHL Press, 2006 - Science - 227 pages
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The intent and uses of science are a continuing preoccupation, especially in public debates on issues such as new pharmaceuticals, cloning, stem cells, genetically modified foods, and assisted reproduction. Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt,written by the eminent geneticist and historian Elof Carlson, explores the moral foundations of science and their role in these hot–button issues. Carlson chooses a variety of case histories and describes their scientific background and the part played by scientists in the application of their work, including their motivations and reactions to bad outcomes, both real and alleged. He examines why ethical lapses have occurred in these areas, why bad things happen when, for the most part, those who worked on the science had only good intentions in mind, and how such lapses can be prevented from occurring in the future. This exploration of ethics and science is important reading for those interested in issues of science and society, including journalists, theologians, legislators, lawyers, and scientists themselves.
 

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Times of Triumph, Time of Doubt is a well written book exploring how bad outcomes can occur even with the best of intentions. Dr. Carlson easy to read style which was evident in his previous books (The Unfit, Mendel's legacy) is continued in this work. The book is a quick read, as I finished this book within two days of starting it. The book has some interesting insights into the scientific process. This book may anger liberal (genetically modified foods) and conservative (stem cell research) zealots due to its neutrality in presenting the issues in clear and concise manner without politicizing the subject matter with an overt agenda, or reaching a conclusion to be consistent with a political philosophy. I feel it is an good read not only to those interested in science, but also reminds us how good moral people can commit atrocious acts. 

Contents

Part 1
5
Ch1 Why Science Is Sometimes Perceived as Evil
7
Ch2 The Tools of Judgment
11
Part 2
19
Ch3 Evil at Its Worst
21
Ch4 The Banality of Evil
39
Ch5 Heroes with Feet of Clay
55
Part 3
65
Ch11 Genetically Modified GoodsAs Usual
129
Part 6
139
Ch12 Medical Deception and Syphilis
141
Ch13 Prenatal Diagnosis and an Alleged Eugenics through the Back Door
155
Ch14 Cloning Stem Cells Hyperbole and Cant
163
Ch15 Assisted Reproduction and the Argument of Playing God
173
Part 7
185
Ch16 Quantifying Evil or Bad Outcomes
187

Ch6 Radiation in Peace and War
67
Ch7 Herbicides in Peace and War
83
Part 4
95
Ch8 ThalidomideCorporate Misconduct Masquerading as an Act of God
97
Ch9 A Synthetic Estrogen with Harmful Outcomes
109
Part 5
115
Ch10 Pesticides and the Environmental Movement
117
Ch17 Science History and Responsibility
193
Ch18 How Science Changes Our Worldview for the Better
205
Ch19 How Can Good Intentions Avoid Bad Outcomes?
213
Index
219
Back Cover
228
Copyright

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