War on Science: Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do about It

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UPC: 9781571313539
Author: Shawn Lawrence Otto
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  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions (May 17, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1571313532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571313539
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches

Winner of the MN Book Award for Nonfiction. "Wherever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." But what happens when they are not? In every issue of modern society--from climate change to vaccinations, transportation to technology, health care to defense--we are in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of scientific progress and a simultaneous expansion of danger. At the very time we need them most, scientists and the idea of objective knowledge are being bombarded by a vast, well-funded, three-part war on science: the identity politics war on science, the ideological war on science, and the industrial war on science. 

The result is an unprecedented erosion of thought in Western democracies as voters, policymakers, and justices actively ignore the evidence from science, leaving major policy decisions to be based more on the demands of the most strident voices.  

Shawn Lawrence Otto's provocative new book investigates the historical, social, philosophical, political, and emotional reasons for why and how evidence-based politics are in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise, and offers a vision, an argument, and some compelling solutions to bring us to our collective senses, before it's too late.


"The War on Science is an essential work, a game changer, and probably the most important book you'll read this year." —Greg Laden, ScienceBlogs

"Otto's masterful account of how one of the worst wars in history is being conducted and how we should counter it deserves the attention of all those who desire to advance the human experiment." —Rod Cooper, Prof. emeritus of Psychology, U Calgary

"A big, bracing battle cry." —Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

"There is probably no one in the world who has a better grasp of the current anti-science, anti-intellectualism that is running rampant in America today." —Larry Lazar, customer review

About the Author

Shawn Lawrence Otto was awarded the IEEE-USA National Distinguished Public Service Award for his work elevating science in America's national public dialogue.  He is cofounder and producer of the US presidential science debates at sciencedebate.org. He is also an award-winning screenwriter and novelist, best known for writing and co-producing the Academy Award-nominated movie House of Sand and Fog, and the LA Times Book Prize finalist literary crime novel, Sins of Our Fathers.