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Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts About Food, Health, and the Environment Hardcover – May 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1891389092 ISBN-10: 1891389092 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Science Books; 1 edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891389092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891389092
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Aiming to improve readers' scientific literacy, Naturally Dangerous examines the risks involved in the choices we make." -- The Washington Post

"if you treat Collman's book as a sampler of solid advice, you won't finish it feeling hungry." -- The Washington Post

"makes an effective case for not accepting the simple equation 'natural = safe.'" -- Nature

"one of the most informative and valuable books on public health policy..." -- Stanford Report, Spyros Andreopoulos

"open this book and surprise yourself with the facts." -- Choice

About the Author

J.P. COLLMAN is at Stanford University.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By carljbar on November 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Naturally dangerous" is a blast. Collman is interesting,
fun and sharp. The book covers many fundamental concepts
of science and chemistry. Unlike most books, it approaches
science in an engaging way. It shows how chemistry is part
of your everyday life.
The strongest point of this book is the perspective that
Collman has on how science and society interact. The book
puts science and society under the loop. It uses chemistry
as a tool to dissect important topics: health, AIDS,
radioactivity, drugs, ozone, ... It challenges the reader
with many questions. I particularly liked the examples
of scientific misconceptions: nuclear free environment,
health food store,... By the end of the book, I got a
critical view on many problems I had never thought of
before.
Collman uses words to explain science. There are no equations
or chemical formulas. This can be very easy to read for
non-scientists. I am scientist and was familiar with many
of the concepts. However, I learned in every chapters about
new topics and examples. I recommend this book to people
how want to learn about chemistry and science.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Duncan Mason, MD on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
NATURALLY DANGEROUS
"Nothing is completely safe or risk free", as we are constantly required to balance "one risk against another". So says Dr. James Collman of Stanford's Department of Chemistry in the preface of his recently published book, "Naturally Dangerous". Filled with interesting, scientific and historic anecdotes which will appeal to the curious reader, it's larger purpose is to explain in lay terms, the essence of the more important scientific controversies which have impacted public policy in recent decades. There is great risk in nature, but scientific understanding and the introduction of commercial applications of science have insulated us from many of these naturally occurring risks, allowing for a near doubling of life expectancy over the past century. But this desirable end has come at a cost. As Dr. Collman posits, "there is no free lunch". We constantly deal with tradeoffs between risk reduction and the creation of new risks, which our interventions spawn. It is only through meaningful understanding of the pertinent scientific concepts that we as a society can begin to make rational judgments. The problem is that we live in a sea of scientific illiteracy both on the part of the electorate as well as within our political leadership. Often trained in the law, many woefully lack necessary technical insight. Such a state paves the way for purposeful obfuscation of the scientific reality, creating an environment favorable for the promotion of public phobias for partisan political ends. By providing us with 224 pages of easy to read basic science, Dr. Collman does his part to push these debates in a logical direction.
Duncan Mason, MD
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard Blois on December 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Professor Collman's new book is an excellent source of information about the foods you eat, the drugs you take, and the environment you live in. He explains how and why natural substances are essential to your good health and also how these same substances can be dangerous to your health. Easy and fun to read, this well researched book provides an abundance of facts and information about the benefits and dangers of vitamins, hormones, health foods, prescription and over-the counter drugs, air pollution, radio activity and other topics of interest to everyone. Would make a good present for anyone and has excellent references for further reading, an extensive glossary, and is well indexed. An exellent and well balanced book by an outstanding teacher.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Patti on July 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a former marketing assistant for a small publisher, this interesting work caught my attention. It is a highly informative reference, which addresses health and environmental issues that will be of interest to everyone. The information is indispensable to anyone concerned with their heath and provides details on prescription drugs, vitamins and herbal medicines, along with some possible dangers or side effects of popular herbs. Where misconceptions abound or confusion arises due to conflicting information in the popular press, this resource provides a logical viewpoint.
Collman covers the underlying science, in a non-technical and understanding manner, behind the chemistry involved in our everyday lives. You'll find this book valuable time and time again.
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