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History Book Review

HistoryBook Review

“UnscientificAmerica: how scientific illiteracy threatens our future” is bookdescribing how majority of the United States citizens live inignorance of science regardless of the fact that most of thechallenges faced in the country originate from scientificunderpinning. The book proposes that the American people ought toreintegrate science back to public discussion before time runs out.Written by a scientist named Sheril Kirshenbaum and Chris Mooney ajournalist the book “UNSCIENTIFIC AMERICA&quot Is a masterpiece.

Authors’qualification

ChrisMooney, a journalist by profession, is a B.A holder from YaleUniversity and a board member of American Geophysics Union. He haswritten other books in the past such as “The Republican War onScience (2005), Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battleover Global Warming (2007). The Republican Brain: The Science of WhyThey Deny Science and Reality Wily written in the (year 2012).” Sheril Kirshenbaum a scientist by occupation is the director of TheEnergy Poll at the University of Texas. Sheril, at one time became aMarshall Memorial Fellow. Additionally, he is also a member of NextGeneration Project Texas and Knauss Science.Her other books include: The Science of Kissing and is the co-authorof Unscientific America. Additionally, she is the acting adviser toNPR’s Science Friday. Ms. Sheril has also been a research scientistto the Webber Energy Group1.

Thetwo authors give us a detailed view of how science is being misusedin America and the effort made by scientists in the United States ineducating the mass on science.

Strengthand weaknesses of the book

Weaknesses

Theauthors have some shortfalls in that they only give us one side ofthe book, that is the problems pertaining science but they do notgive us ways in which the problems can be settled.

Thetwo authors put forward reports on their findings on science andreligion as viewed in the 21st century. In this book they addresschanges in climate, crisis in the energy sector, competition in theeconomy, nuclear production and other global issues. The authorscriticize the attitude of the Americans towards science and theirignorance. They recognize that a large number of the Americans whichsurpasses half of the country population are not interested inmatters pertaining science2.In addition, they argue that the greater number of people do not havea role model who is a scientist. The authors blame the media forneglecting science as they recognize that in a five-hour span, only aminute or less is dedicated to science.

Alarge percentage of the American population is against evolution andsays that the universe is not as old as 10,000 years. Another majorconcern is that the number of newspapers and television talking aboutscience has tremendously declined by 2/3 in the recent past due tothe lack of information on science, the mass has become so illiterateon this matter.

Everybodyis to be blamed on the scientific illiteracy as brought forward bythese writers, as little effort is seen coming from all the partiesinvolved that is the mass, the press and the scientific body. Agreater blame is put forth upon the scientists due to their failureto interact with the public and give the mass their scientificfindings. A call is put forward to educating a group of people whowill in turn go to the media houses and to the political field withthe aim of educating the public on matters related to science.

Aheated argument cropped up as the two writers pointed fingers to thescientific group with claims that the better part of scientificilliteracy would be blamed on them. However, in one way or the otherthey have failed to communicate with the people in power and the massin a way that will elevate the level of scientific literacy. Mostcritics have argued that the book is very short and thus covers thetopic shallowly while the themes in the book are not well developeddue to this reason.

Inthis book, the two talk about Pluto as a planet but they fail to givea precise description with a claim that the subject was difficult tounderstand3.The two goes on and observes that the wide spread of the media hasalso contributed to a large extent to the illiteracy of theAmericans. More so, the problem of Hollywood was given a very smallscope in this book, considering that the problem on archetypes,stereotype and tropes are not limited to be discussed by thescientists.

Strengths

Thetwo managed to give a detailed report on the start of illiteracy asless interest is given to the education sector. They observed thatthat primary school being the basic level of education had beendeprived the privilege of having a syllabus with the scientificeducation.

Thebook is viewed as a master piece though people trying to analyze itfail to understand whether the book was addressed to the scientistsor to the mass as it criticizes the scientific body as a whole. Asthe book comes to an end, the two authors mention that there is aneed to improve the current situation at hand. According to thempeople need to have a specific focus and people must come up with onemajor scheme that will help solve the problem once and for all.

Thereason as to why the people need a way to get science education isdue to unavailable scheme to accept the issues are very vital. Theplan in this book is good though more needs to be done on the part ofthe scientists. These two writers bring forth the theme ofcontradiction so clearly as they tell us the massive investment theUnited States of America has in science. United States has investedin laboratories, in universities and research bodies yet the largerpopulation of the United States of America is a scientificilliterate4.Also, the United State has been outstanding in the production ofmedicine including the child vaccine however most of the UnitedStates population still remains scientific illiterate.

Oneproblem that creates a divide between the scientists and theChristians is the issue of evolution. Scientists believe in evolutionwhile the Christian group does not believe in evolution.

Conclusion

Thenonfiction book UnscientificAmericaisa book I wouldrecommendto all my friends and everyone else who love reading nonfictionbooks. The book blames the society and science for the widening inscientific illiteracy. The media is also to be blamed for keepingsilence while majority of the population continue living in ignoranceof science.

Bibliography

Mooney,Chris, and Sheril Kirshenbaum. 2010. Unscientific America: howscientific illiteracy threatens our future. San Francisco:ReadHowYouWant.

Mooney,Chris, and Sheril Kirshenbaum. 2009. Unscientific America howscientific illiteracy threatens our future. New York: Basic Books.http://www.contentreserve.com/TitleInfo.asp?ID={21E23646-CD47-42E3-875C-E09C470824BA}&ampFormat=50.

1 Mooney, Chris, and Sheril Kirshenbaum. 2010. Unscientific America: how scientific illiteracy threatens our future. San Francisco: ReadHowYouWant. II-VI

2 Mooney, Chris, and Sheril Kirshenbaum. 2009. Unscientific America how scientific illiteracy threatens our future. New York: Basic Books. Retrieved from http://www.contentreserve.com/TitleInfo.asp?ID={21E23646-CD47-42E3-875C-E09C470824BA}&ampFormat=50. 10-15

3 Mooney, Chris, and Sheril Kirshenbaum. 2010. Unscientific America: how scientific illiteracy threatens our future. San Francisco: ReadHowYouWant. 78

4 Mooney, Chris, and Sheril Kirshenbaum. 2009. Unscientific America how scientific illiteracy threatens our future. New York: Basic Books. Retrieved from http://www.contentreserve.com/TitleInfo.asp?ID={21E23646-CD47-42E3-875C-E09C470824BA}&ampFormat=50.