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 publicopinion 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 todogmatic 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.

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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


From Optimism to Pessimism I
Medicine and Magic
The Myth of Organic Farming

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About the author (2005)

Dick Taverne is Baron of Pimlico and a Q.C. Having been the Labour MP forLincoln from 1962 to 1972, he resigned to fight the famous Lincolnby-election as an independent social democrat in 1973, and won. In 1974 hewrote iThe Future of the Left, Lincoln and After/i (Jonathan Cape), whichpredicted the split in the Labour party that happened seven years later. Hegradually became more and more concerned about the increasing mood ofhostility and suspicion about science and in 2002 founded the association'Sense About Science' to promote an evidence-based approach to scientificissues. Lord Taverne is a high-profile political commentator, regularlydebating issues of democracy and science in the broadsheet press.

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