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Science is my passion, politics is my duty: review of Fool Me Twice

Kirsten Ellenbogen | Curator: The Museum Journal | Jan 07, 2013

Unlike a typical history-of-science text, Fool Me Twice weaves the history of science throughout a discussion of the current anti-science movement in this country, always reminding us that the nature of democracy in America is tied to the nature of science.

Review | American Physical Society

William H. Ingham | “Fool Me Twice” by Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 03, 2012

This book deserves attention and discussion by individuals and groups who aspire to improve the climate for rational public discussion of science. I strongly recommend it.

Review | Aetiology

Tara Smith | “Fool Me Twice” by Shawn Lawrence Otto | Aug 02, 2012

I do hope that at least a number of scientists–especially those just wading into the waters of communication and science politics–do pick up the book, and dog-ear some of the important pages and suggestions as I have done.

Review | Epinions

Science Education and the Future of America | Jun 24, 2012

This is a very good book for the science activist, offering many viable solutions to the growing problem of science illiteracy and stupidity.

Review | To Love What Is Mortal

Fool Me Twice | May 03, 2012

As the best books do, Fool Me Twice has me thinking about the world in a new way and also contemplating some different ways I can interact with people.

Review | Grid

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America | Apr 28, 2012

In Fool Me Twice, Shawn Lawrence Otto narrates the evolution of science in America. His story begins with the beliefs of the founding Puritans and leads all the way to the climate-change and evolution deniers who influence policy today.

Review | To Science with Love

Erin Cadwalader | Book Review: Fool Me Twice by Shawn Otto | Apr 06, 2012

The next point that really interested me was the way the public's perception of science has changed over time.

Review | Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America | Mar 22, 2012

Otto shines as he recounts the fractures between science and politics that developed following the Second World War.

Review | Failure Magazine

Fool Me Twice | Feb 27, 2012

“Whenever the people are well informed,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “They can be trusted with their own government.” In “Fool Me Twice,” Shawn Otto argues (or at least strongly implies) that Americans are no longer well informed enough to be trusted with their own government. And one of the core problems, he says, is that far too many Americans can’t understand the complex science that increasingly dominates our world.

Review | 10 Cities : 10 Years

“Fool Me Twice” and ‘Pick and Choose’ Skepticism | Feb 22, 2012

I enjoyed it and found it thoroughly readable and a quick jaunt through the history of science and politics in America. It includes a great cast of characters (from Jefferson to Einstein and beyond) and articulates the basics of science in a simple way that makes it an easy pick-up for anyone who has any interest in the subject.

Review | Chemical & Engineering News

Science Is Political | Feb 20, 2012

The near taboo of discussing science, which seemed to grip policymakers and the media alike, compelled Shawn Lawrence Otto, chief executive officer and cofounder of Science Debate 2008—now known as ScienceDebate.org—to write “Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.”

Review | CTVotersCount.org

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America | Feb 05, 2012

This book provided additional insight into the causes and dangers of ignoring science as a basis for society.

Review | Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics

Review of Fool Me Twice | Jan 23, 2012

“Lack of absolute certainty is not weakness in science, it’s the only way you know it is science.” In Fool Me Twice, Otto takes us on an intellectual journey through the history of and the public response to science, from the foundation of the United States to some of modern day’s most pressing political issues.

Review | Washington Spectator (subscription)

Mad (at) Scientists | Jan 01, 2012

In December 2010, Republican House Majority leader Eric Cantor launched a website he called "You Cut," encouraging citizens to identify "wasteful" grants awarded to scientists by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The agency, the premier U.S. institution that funds non-medical research in science and engineering, was poised for attack by citizen assailants.

Review | Em and Emm

Fool Me Twice, by Shawn Lawrence Otto | Dec 30, 2011

... in which we explore the ways that politicians and other public figures have led an attack on science in America, leading to the policy problems encountered today.

Review & Interview | McClatchy Newspapers

Book examines America's turn from science, warns of danger for democracy | Dec 26, 2011

WASHINGTON — Americans have trouble dealing with science, and one place that's especially obvious is in presidential campaigns, says Shawn Lawrence Otto, who tried, with limited success, to get the candidates to debate scientific questions in the 2008 presidential election.

Review | Agence Science-Presse (Canada)

Science et politique ont besoin l'un de l'autre | Dec 19, 2011

En 2007, un organisme américain analyse les questions alors posées aux candidats à la présidence dans les émissions d’affaires publiques de la télé. Sur 2975 questions... six parlaient de changements climatiques. En comparaison, trois parlaient d’OVNI.

Review | Climate Science Watch

“Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America” | Dec 07, 2011

Shawn Lawrence Otto’s Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America is a fascinating look at the status of science in American society. Otto’s explanation of the climate change denial machine provides a compelling narrative that places the ‘controversy’ in the context of science’s slipping authority vis-a-vis political rhetoric and pseudoscience that passes for fact. However, the book’s greatest merit lies in the analysis and resulting suggestions for positive reform – an effort that will require the contributions of politicians, scientists, the media, and the general public.

Review | Alex O. Awiti: Advancing Global Sustainability (Kenya)

In Defense of Science | Dec 06, 2011

From evolution to stem cell research to climate change, science has always scuttled established power structures – religious and secular. Science is therefore by no means apolitical and the conduct of science is a political act.

Review | About.com

A Manifesto for a Scientific Future | Dec 06, 2011

While reading this book, I took my highlighter to a lot of great passages. Otto's discussions of science strongly resonated with my own thoughts.

Review | The Yale Forum On Climate Change & The Media

In Fool Me Twice, Shawn Lawrence Otto Delivers Valuable Back Stories | Nov 30, 2011

The individual behind the 2008 presidential campaign ‘Science Debate’ initiative tells where we are with research science in the current political atmosphere. But more importantly, he also tells how we’ve gotten to where we are, and where we may be going from here.

Book Excerpt | Scientific American

Good Science Always Has Political Ramifications | Nov 24, 2011

Why? Because a scientifically testable claim can be shown to be either most probably true or false, whether the claim is made by a king or a president, a Pope, a Congressperson, or a common citizen.

Review | Denver Post

From "duck and cover" to "run like hell" | Nov 21, 2011

Every now and then, I run across something that so directly contradicts what I thought I knew that it stops me in my tracks.

Review & Interview | Rolling Stone

How Ignorance, Greed and Ideology Are Warping Science and Hurting Democracy | Nov 17, 2011

"Whenever the people are well informed" an optimistic Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." Sure – but what if the people have no clue?

Review | The Monday Evening Club

What Would Thomas Paine Do? | Nov 15, 2011

The central question that Otto raises is one that is as old as the republic. Are we Americans well informed enough to be trusted with our own governance? More specifically, are we going to use true science, and the scientific method, to understand and engage with such important issues as climate change, population growth and food supply. Despite the crises we are and will be confronting, political discourse in the United States in the last decade has seen a reactionary pullback from science and reason, as manifested in the decline of science journalism and the boastful indifference to scientific facts by many elected officials.

Review | Science 2.0

Don't Get Fooled: Fighting The Assault On Science In America | Nov 12, 2011

Rather than attacking any particular political view, the author pursues a path of demonstrating how science is perpetually in a struggle between those that favor knowledge (i.e. the antiauthoritarian position) versus those that prefer dogma (i.e. authoritarian). In the process a richer more interesting perspective of the science/politics debate emerges.

Review | Display Adaptability

Science is Political | Nov 03, 2011

“If knowledge does not have primacy in public decision making, then no truth can be said to be self-evident, and we are left with the tyranny of ideology enforced by might (p. 219)…led [by] a generation of leaders that are at once arrogant and ignorant…(p. 134) Ignorance is not bliss. It’s tyranny.” (p. 252)

Review | The Art of Teaching Science

Is There An Assault on Science? | Oct 29, 2011

There is an assault on science and science education, and as I’ll discuss further in the days ahead, there is an assault on public education.

Review | Science Magazine

For the Democracy of Science | Oct 28, 2011

The solutions Otto suggests require a great deal of dedication and optimism. Nonetheless, the problems he identifies are quite real. Fool Me Twice offers a compelling consideration of the United States’ political estrangement from science. One would very much like to attend to Otto’s equally compelling hopes.

Review | MSNBC - Cosmic Log

Recommended: Do science and politics mix? | Oct 28, 2011

"In the 1960s, John F. Kennedy had to go out of his way to say that his religion would not interfere with his presidency," he said. "Now we're almost having candidates say the opposite: They're not going to let the science interfere with their religious convictions while they're in office. ... It's not family values that made America No. 1. It's our can-do spirit and our ability to deal with hardheaded science."

Review | Harvard Law & Policy Review

Book Review – Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America | Oct 26, 2011

Despite the crisis confronting us, political discourse in the United States in the last decade has seen a reactionary pullback from science and reason, as manifested in the decline of science journalism and the prideful ignorance of scientific facts by certain elected officials. This problem is artfully described in Shawn Lawrence Otto’s recent book, Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.

Review | Greg Laden's Blog

Science is always nonpartisan, but it is always political: Fool Me Twice | Oct 19, 2011

Fool Me Twice is an important tool for the professional or avocational activist to use over the next few years to force real change. If you want climate change to matter in policy and science more broadly to regain its seat at the table of policymakers, you have to do something and not just wish it. And number one on your list of things to do is to read Fool Me Twice.

Review | Science & Innovation Communication (Germany)

Fighting the Assault on Science in America | Oct 12, 2011

It was the largest grassroots initiative in US history: The "Science Debate" in reaction to the presidential campaign in 2008.

Review | Culture of Science

Fighting The Assault On Science In America | Oct 11, 2011

Shawn Lawrence Otto’s Fool Me Twice: Fighting The Assault On Science In America debuts today and should be required reading for anyone interested in science, policy, and real-world solutions.

Review | Nature Magazine

These shifts are happening precisely when big science is needed to tackle global challenges | Sep 29, 2011

Otto traces shifts in national attitudes to science and technology — from early wonder through atomic-era fear to widespread rejection. That these shifts are happening precisely when big science is needed to tackle global challenges should, he says, push researchers to re-engage with politicians.

Starred Review | Publishers Weekly

In this incredible book, Otto explores the devaluation of science in America. | Sep 19, 2011

In this incredible book, Otto explores the devaluation of science in America. His exhaustively researched text explains the three-pronged attack on science: how right-wing Christian fervor discredits evolution; how post-modernism and cultural sensitivity makes people believe that objective truth doesn't exist; and how corporations discredit scientists in order to further economic agendas. Otto also shows how Christian beliefs aren't traditionally anti-science, and how America went from a nation that valued scientific achievement to one suspicious of it. By attacking science, America diminishes its capacity to compete in the global marketplace, and endangers the world for future generations. The accessible book will inform scientists about what has happened to their field, provide an overview for laypeople, and allow educators to equip themselves to address these issues for the next generation and reverse this troubling trend.

Review | Notes From Aboveground

Won’t get fooled again: defending science | Sep 07, 2011

The religious right rejects the authority of science in favour of the authority of God. The progressive left distrusts the science that brought us Hiroshima and Bhopal. The corporate class ignores the warnings of science if they might be bad for business. And much of academia relegates science to the status of another local cultural narrative.

Thus it’s no surprise that science has so little sway over public policy — or much of a role in informing the decision-makers.

This dangerous weakness is the subject of Shawn Lawrence Otto’s readable and informative new book, Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America

Starred Review | Kirkus

A gripping analysis of America's anti-science crisis. | Sep 01, 2011

The public's perception of the role of science in culture and medicine has changed amid an increasingly anti-intellectual movement in politics and religion, and unless scientific literacy increases among citizens and lawmakers, environmental and other crises will exacerbate and threaten the United States' role as a global superpower.