- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: Viking Press (August 15, 1967)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670002127
- ISBN-13: 978-0670002122
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,575,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Science and Survival Paperback – August 1, 1967
"How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" by Sy Montgomery
“This is a beautiful book — essential reading for anyone who loves animals and knows how much they can teach us about being human.” ― Gwen Cooper, author of "Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat" | Learn more
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In Science and Survival, Barry Commoner announces that "the age of innocent faith in science and technology may be over." A massive electric power failure all over the Northeast, the admission of children to a St. Louis hospital 15 years after they had been exposed to radio-iodine from Nevada nuclear bomb tests, the disturbing news about DDT, and the potential menace of recombinant DNA - not to mention the threat of "nuclear winter" in the event of thermonuclear war, a prospect Commoner discussed years before most Americans even heard of it - led him to the conclusion that science, like the magic practiced by the legendary Sorcerer's Apprentice, was getting out of control. Therefore, scientists could no longer simply remain at their work; they had to go out and alert the nonscientists to the problems that their work was creating. "Science can reveal the depth of this crisis," the book concluded, "but only social action can resolve it."
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The characters or people he dealt with in his book were government officials and scientists who kept information secret, other privately funded scientists who found serious mistakes in government testing, and everyone else in society.
Science is advancing before consequences of nuclear tests and other tests are known. Commoner urges citizens for reform in government policies to protect us from the evils of nuclear fallout. The story is quite interesting, because he describes a valid point even with the limited knowledge he had over thirty years ago. He warns of the danger of fallout in this quote: "To understand the biological effects of fallout we must know what happens at each step of this complicated chain of events. There is now a fairly complete published record of this knowledge. This record reveals a number of important errors in our understanding of the problem, which remained uncorrected until the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere was in full swing and fallout had been massively disseminated into the environment."
This book was left open-ended. He called everyone to make changes in the system. This story still continues. As we continue to pollute our earth, the earth will eventually not be safe from mankind. Only scientists and society will decide how this drama will unfold.
The theme is that political power and moral judgment should be used to keep mankind and science from inevitably destroying our race. He says that society should protest against the evils of government testing.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in science or interested in the survival of the human race on this planet. I definitely discourage anyone with a short attention span or anyone with limited knowledge in science from reading this book. It gets very scientific and somewhat boring in some parts, but for the most part puts forth a good message.