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Review | Nature Magazine

nature magazineFool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America

Shawn Lawrence Otto Rodale 384 pp. $25.99 (2011)
Less than 2% of US senators and representatives have a scientific background, but more than 40% are lawyers. Shawn Lawrence Otto suggests that is why US policy-making is rich in rhetoric and poor in reasoning. Reminding us of the crucial separation of church and state at the birth of the United States, 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.