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States of Fear: Science or Politics? - Michael Crichton

States of Fear: Science or Politics? - Michael Crichton
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2795753336403393538

Book: "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton, bestselling author whose works include Jurassic Park and the television series ER;
http://www.amazon.com/State-Fear-Michael-Crichton/dp/0066214130

At one time, both the pseudoscientific geocentric notion of the universe (that the Earth lies at the center of the solar system) and eugenics (the racial theory to “purify” the human race) were widely accepted by leaders in science, politics, journalism, and business.

Such theories were pushed by powerful interest groups that possessed highly politicized agendas driving government policies and public opinion, until ultimately both theories were disproved. Is environmental debate today, including global warming, bio-technology, and other issues, based on science or politics? Are popular accounts of such issues rooted in science or phantom risks? Are government policies focusing on the trivial while ignoring the real, and in the process wasting limited resources, crippling human innovation to address true dangers, and inviting tyranny?

In discussing not just environmental issues but the increasing politicization of science itself, best-selling author Michael Crichton examines the intersection of media, politics, and science, inspiring viewers to challenge old assumptions and to search beneath the surface of issues as they seek to discover the truth.

Scientists Bruce Ames (U.C. Berkeley), Sallie Baliunas (Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), William Gray (Colorado State U.), and Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor show how scientific debates have been politicized by appealing to the fears of an uninformed public.



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Mixed Emotions

I generally enjoy Mr Crichton's work, all the while recognizing that he is no friend of liberty. However, he is a gifted novelist with an engaging ability to blend enlightened screed with rip-roarin' adventure. On balance, he is an anti-Luddite good guy, if a bit of a technocrat.

Aspera as Astra!
Professor Bernardo de la Paz
www.citizenduquesne.org

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West of 89
a novel of another america
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