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The Republican War on Science (2005)

by Chris Mooney

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5921028,660 (3.75)12
Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since Richard Nixon fired his science advisors. In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker’s agenda; or, when they’re too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues-stem cell research, climate change, evolution, sex education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others-the Bush administration’s positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies-once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents-are increasingly staffed by political appointees who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science. This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.… (more)
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A look at some of the controversies and disagreements that arise when politics and science intersect. Mooney discusses the rise of skepticism of science and scientific research through various presidential terms. Topics range from climate change to DDT. Mooney gets into the weeds of where and how various politicians and entities clash.

To be honest I was really bored with the book. Although I would be firmly on the author's side in his stances, the writing seemed very tedious. It also seems not researched and cherry-picked, until you realize there are end-notes at the end of the book. It read a lot like railing against the Republican party and conservatives for their blockading of scientific research, institutions, and sometimes even individuals. I realize there is truth to what he was saying, but I felt it could have been written in a less partisan manner.

Picked it up as a bargain book. Would suggest looking at the library first. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
Partially read. To hyped and didn't seem to be more than what was in the papers
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
I expected a lot of this book. One cannot follow the news these days without instantly realizing how rich an area this is. The near dismissal of science and scientific evidence by the right is both bizarre and rife. But I guess I hoped for a writer who was more of a scientist himself, a cold assassin who simply allowed the accumulated evidence damn those who seek to damn us all. I wanted a book I could hand to my Republicans friends and relatives with confidence. But the assassin gets emotional (and political) and dulls his own blade opening himself to charges of ideological malice. Where was his editor? Derelict I think. Urging Mooney to play to his audience? With not much effort, one could still turn this into a good book aimed at a broad (not a partisan) audience. ( )
  tsgood | Aug 13, 2013 |
Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since Richard Nixon fired his science advisors. In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker’s agenda; or, when they’re too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues-stem cell research, climate change, evolution, sex education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others-the Bush administration’s positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies-once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents-are increasingly staffed by political appointees who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science. This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience. ( )
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  MarkBeronte | Jul 28, 2013 |
Funny, I didn't remember that I'd read this book until I went back through my common place book. I have read a number of articles by Mooney, but have been struck by the lack of in-depth thought he puts into his analyses; if this was the same way, perhaps that's why it didnt' stick with me. ( )
  Devil_llama | May 10, 2011 |
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In the summer of 2001, long before his reelection and even before he became a "wartime president', George W. Bush found himself in a political tight spot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since Richard Nixon fired his science advisors. In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker’s agenda; or, when they’re too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues-stem cell research, climate change, evolution, sex education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others-the Bush administration’s positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies-once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents-are increasingly staffed by political appointees who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science. This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.

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