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A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind

de David J. Helfand

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423469,210 (2.7)No n'hi ha cap
We live in the Information Age, with billions of bytes of data just two swipes away. Yet how much of this is mis- or even disinformation? A lot of it is, and your search engine can't tell the difference. As a result, an avalanche of misinformation threatens to overwhelm the discourse we so desperately need to address complex social problems such as climate change, the food and water crises, biodiversity collapse, and emerging threats to public health. This book provides an inoculation against the misinformation epidemic by cultivating scientific habits of mind. Anyone can do it--indeed, everyone must do it if our species is to survive on this crowded and finite planet. This survival guide supplies an essential set of apps for the prefrontal cortex while making science both accessible and entertaining. It will dissolve your fear of numbers, demystify graphs, and elucidate the key concepts of probability, all while celebrating the precise use of language and logic. David Helfand, one of our nation's leading astronomers and science educators, has taught scientific habits of mind to generations in the classroom, where he continues to wage a provocative battle against sloppy thinking and the encroachment of misinformation.… (més)
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This gets off to a good start; written by an adult and for adults. But a comparison of apples to oranges does appear, when considering nuclear vs.coal power production.
  themulhern | Jul 26, 2019 |
What's needed is a survival guide for anyone tackling this book. Unutterably, painfully boring! ( )
  jameshold | Jul 22, 2017 |
What makes good science? What makes bad science? What makes something that sort of looks like science not really science at all? These are the kinds of questions David Helfand attempts to answer in this book. He talks about probability, statistics, correlation, estimation, data collection and representation.... All good stuff, but if the goal of this book is to explain to the general public why science is the best tool we have for acquiring knowledge, it has some flaws.

I have no issues over the things he's saying, but the way he's saying them is another matter.
I never heard of Professor Helfand before reading this, although I'm sure he's a wonderful man, but the tone of his book is often that of a curmudgeon. Yes, I know scientific literacy isn't what is should be, and that distresses me too, but you can't reach the people who need to be reached by deriding them about the mistakes they've been making, most of which are cultural flaws rather than personal ones (the American reluctance about using the metric system, for example). And if the aim is to inform the uninformed, it should be done in terms familiar to them. Formulas and tables are probably not the best method, nor is using data about quasars and PhD earners as examples. I'm sure other things, everyday things—weather forecasts, household budgets, claims made in advertising—could be used as examples to demonstrate points about probability, estimation, and correlation instead.

Still, the point of the book is valid. It is important to be wary of our assumptions, to maintain a healthy skepticism, and to question the claims and assertions we see reported in the media. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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No n'hi ha cap

We live in the Information Age, with billions of bytes of data just two swipes away. Yet how much of this is mis- or even disinformation? A lot of it is, and your search engine can't tell the difference. As a result, an avalanche of misinformation threatens to overwhelm the discourse we so desperately need to address complex social problems such as climate change, the food and water crises, biodiversity collapse, and emerging threats to public health. This book provides an inoculation against the misinformation epidemic by cultivating scientific habits of mind. Anyone can do it--indeed, everyone must do it if our species is to survive on this crowded and finite planet. This survival guide supplies an essential set of apps for the prefrontal cortex while making science both accessible and entertaining. It will dissolve your fear of numbers, demystify graphs, and elucidate the key concepts of probability, all while celebrating the precise use of language and logic. David Helfand, one of our nation's leading astronomers and science educators, has taught scientific habits of mind to generations in the classroom, where he continues to wage a provocative battle against sloppy thinking and the encroachment of misinformation.

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