Unlike a typical history-of-science text, Fool Me Twice weaves the history of science throughout a discussion of the current anti-science movement in this country, always reminding us that the nature of democracy in America is tied to the nature of science.
This book deserves attention and discussion by individuals and groups who aspire to improve the climate for rational public discussion of science. I strongly recommend it.
I do hope that at least a number of scientists–especially those just wading into the waters of communication and science politics–do pick up the book, and dog-ear some of the important pages and suggestions as I have done.
This is a very good book for the science activist, offering many viable solutions to the growing problem of science illiteracy and stupidity.
As the best books do, Fool Me Twice has me thinking about the world in a new way and also contemplating some different ways I can interact with people.
In Fool Me Twice, Shawn Lawrence Otto narrates the evolution of science in America. His story begins with the beliefs of the founding Puritans and leads all the way to the climate-change and evolution deniers who influence policy today.
The next point that really interested me was the way the public's perception of science has changed over time.
Otto shines as he recounts the fractures between science and politics that developed following the Second World War.
“Whenever the people are well informed,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “They can be trusted with their own government.” In “Fool Me Twice,” Shawn Otto argues (or at least strongly implies) that Americans are no longer well informed enough to be trusted with their own government. And one of the core problems, he says, is that far too many Americans can’t understand the complex science that increasingly dominates our world.
I enjoyed it and found it thoroughly readable and a quick jaunt through the history of science and politics in America. It includes a great cast of characters (from Jefferson to Einstein and beyond) and articulates the basics of science in a simple way that makes it an easy pick-up for anyone who has any interest in the subject.