Thursday, February 4, 2016

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future by Donald R. Prothero

Periodically we review books relevant to science communication and climate change. Today is the book "Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future" by Donald R. Prothero published by Indiana University Press in 2013.

An author of over 30 books on science, Donald R. Prothero compiles a series of case studies involving denial of science and discusses how they endanger our future. Written in a conversational, colloquial style and a somewhat folksy, often condescending tone, the book lays out each chapter with the denier misinformation and contrasts these with the reality. 

The book could have used much tighter editing - he's often repetitive and overtly belittling of deniers - but provides exceptional arguments drawn from his own experience and previous books to demonstrate the utter ridiculousness of the anti-science views.

Topics covered include acid rain, ozone hole, global warming, creationism/intelligent design, anti-vaxxers (anti-vaccination), AIDS denialism, medical quacks, astrology, peak oil deniers, and overpopulation. In early chapters and in a final chapter he discusses the basis of science and why some groups more than others are prone to science denial.

Overall, the book does an excellent job of showing the lack of veracity in all science denial arguments. Anyone interested in science, and the denial of science, should put it high on their reading list.