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Denying Science: Conspiracy Theories, Media Distortions, and the War Against Reality Hardcover – August 23, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"John Grant is the living heir of Martin Gardner. He delivers the facts and suffers no fools." --Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge

"This is the book you've been waiting for. Timely, encyclopedic, and compulsively readable, Denying Science makes sense of the whole ugly business of science denial. Buy two and send one to your congressman." --Michael Swanwick, author of Dancing with Bears and Bones of the Earth

"A timely and intelligent dissection of all that is wrong with popular responses to science. This articulate and impassioned account of the workings of the world should be required reading for decision-makers everywhere. Hang on: that's all of us." --Keith Brooke, PhD, author, The Accord, Genetopia, and alt.human

"Packed with damning facts and deadly wit, this book shows how we're being lied to on an industrial scale. A fine piece of intellectual anti-virus software!" --Ken MacLeod, science fiction writer

"For the past few years, John Grant has been intrepidly documenting instances of bogus, corrupted, and discarded science. Now he's back with perhaps the best of the lot: Denying Science. As topical and as cutting as past volumes have been, Denying Science gets to the heart of the problem in today's world—and does so with fascinating, brilliantly written accounts that may curl your toes but also contain elements of humor and absurdity. Highly recommended." --Jeff VanderMeer, World Fantasy Award winner, author of The Steampunk Bible

About the Author

John Grant is the author of more than seventy books, including the critically acclaimed Discarded Science, Corrupted Science, and Bogus Science. In addition to his popular science writing, Grant is a prolific science fiction and fantasy writer. He has won two Hugo Awards, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and a number of other international literary awards. He coedited with John Clute The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and wrote all three editions of The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters; both encyclopedias are standard reference works in their field. Under his real name, Paul Barnett, he has written several books and run the world-famous fantasy-art-book imprint Paper Tiger, for this latter work winning a Chesley Award and a nomination for the World Fantasy Award. For more on this prolific author, see www.johngrantpaulbarnett.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616143991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616143992
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Grant here takes aim at a wide spectrum of anti-science, pseudo-science, biased science and fraudulent science topics: "Intelligent Design," tobacco industry cover-ups, the anti-vaccination campaign, the trumped-up AIDS "controversy," Self-Help, Social Darwinism, eugenics, and, most prominently, climate-change denial, to name the biggies. And he blasts away with a mighty arsenal of facts supported by 38 pages of citations and a 9-page bibliography. One tends to think he has an encyclopedic memory or a busy team of researchers, or both. Moreover, nearly every fact he uses is germane to the topics--no wasted words here.

I read this book faster than any other nonfiction book of this length I've ever picked up. I enjoyed it to the extent it buttressed just about every opinion I already had, and furnished me with the kind of ammunition on such topics as climate change I could use to counter the prevailing ignorance on most science-related issues of the day.

However, my enjoyment was tainted with the awareness that I was only too willing to revel in the scorn and satire which John Grant heaps on every source with whom he disagrees. Several time he dismisses a contrary view as having been "demolished," without explaining how the demolition worked. He takes satisfaction in ridiculing statements so moronic as to be beneath notice except for humorous effect--such as a blogger who asks why it is the greenhouse gases haven't escaped "through the giant hole [the ozone hole] they swore up and down existed? You can't have it both ways--either there is a hole, or the gases are trapped." Sure I got a laugh out of this, but at the same time I felt it unfair to imply that the American public in general is that ignorant. If it is, I really need a big rock to crawl under.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a battle between liberal science and republican Ann Coulter I wrote a dueling review pitting this book against Ann Coulter's Demonic here: [...]

This book is a great way to hear the other side of popular scientific topics that have hit the news in the last 5 years. With FOX news and media outlets focusing on the big controversial story over actual scientific fact, this book is a necessary response everyone should read.

The greenhouse effect, autism linked to vaccinations, creationism and AIDS controversies to name a few. With 38 pages of citations and a huge bibliography the book has its fair share of sources and proof. The book reads like a very good essay on each subject that culls together many bits and pieces to strengthen the authors arguments. This tends to read as if the author doesn't know much for himself, but it's necessary in order to speak towards such edgy issues of today.

This is a quick read that doesn't spend much time on issues, but rather lays down an argument and slam dunks it. At times this can read a bit slanted, something similar to a politicians take on an issue, but many of the points made in this book I was unaware of. I think this book shouldn't be read as an end all be all on every issue, but it makes some very interesting connections and brings up some great points many are unaware of.

Much like "The Wrecking Crew" or other political spin books, this book does ridicule and make fun of those that go against the books arguments. I tended to read them as funny knocks for entertainment value than debasing comments to strengthen the argument. That said because it strays from fact with opinion in this regard the book loses some of its argumentative strength. Be it as it may, the facts remain the same, and I'd be hard pressed to not recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm very comfortable admitting that science has always been an area that I've personally struggled with. It was never a `strong suit' of mine in school, and I think that's because science - by its very nature - requires a very specific kind of `perceiving' the world. It requires the amassing of tremendous evidence before the scientist can postulate a hypothesis that turns into a theory before the theory itself can be established as fact ... or, at least, that's always been my understanding. Maintaining a brain of such voluminous facts was always beyond my reach; but, as I've grown much more attached to reading non-fiction in the last decade (or so), I've always tried to read a handful of science-related books each year. I've actively sought out recommendations from friends and family about which authors to read, and one name that's come up again and again in certain circles has been John Grant. DENYING SCIENCE was my first experience with the author's learned perspective, and, for better or worse, I wanted to convey my humble impressions on the book.

To the completely uniformed, Grant may at first appear to have a massive chip on his shoulder. Pick your target. Pseudoscientists. Politicians. Clergy. Moral extremists. No one escapes the wrath of his prolific ire. (Thankfully, I had been given a bit of a `heads up' as to what to expect.) But, reading between the lines, I think the discerning mind can understand and appreciate the man's obvious frustration with a world that seems to have turned its back on not only science but also clear, logical thinking.

Topics such as evolution and medicines and global warming aren't the kinds of subjects that can be communicated and absorbed quickly.
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