The March of Unreason

The March of Unreason : Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism

3.98 (62 ratings by Goodreads)
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Our daily news bulletins bring us tales of the wonder of science, from Mars rovers and intelligent robots to developments in cancer treatment, and yet often the emphasis is on the potential threats posed by science. It appears that irrationality is on the rise in western society, and public opinion is increasingly dominated by unreflecting prejudice and unwillingness to engage with factual evidence.

From genetically modified crops and food, organic farming, the MMR vaccine, environmentalism, the precautionary principle and the new anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements, the rejection of the evidence-based approach nurtures a culture of suspicion, distrust, and cynicism, and leads to dogmatic assertion and intolerance.

In this compelling and timely examination of science and society, Dick Taverne argues that science, with all the benefits it brings, is an essential part of civilised and democratic society: it offers us our most hopeful future.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 128 x 195 x 20mm | 330g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0199205620
  • 9780199205622
  • 390,981

Table of contents

Prologue ; 1. From optimism to pessimism ; 2. Medicine and magic ; 3. The myth of organic farming ; 4. The case for GM Crops ; 5. The case against GM Crops ; 6. The rise of eco-fundamentalism ; 7. The perils of precaution ; 8. The attack on science ; 9. Multinational companies and globalization ; 10. Reason and democracy ; Epilogue ; Index
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Review Text

A provocative book. Church Review
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Review quote

Taverne's case is, essentially, indisputable. * The Independent (Review) * A provocative book. * Church Review *
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About Dick Taverne

Dick Taverne is Baron of Pimlico and a Q.C. Having been the Labour MP for
Lincoln from 1962 to 1972, he resigned to fight the famous Lincoln
by-election as an independent social democrat in 1973, and won. In 1974 he
wrote The Future of the Left, Lincoln and After (Jonathan Cape), which
predicted the split in the Labour party that happened seven years later. He
gradually became more and more concerned about the increasing mood of
hostility and suspicion about science and in 2002 founded the association
'Sense About Science' to promote an evidence-based approach to scientific
issues. Lord Taverne is a high-profile political commentator, regularly
debating issues of democracy and science in the broadsheet press.
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Rating details

62 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 26% (16)
4 55% (34)
3 15% (9)
2 2% (1)
1 3% (2)
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