The Stickler's Guide to Science in the Age of Misinformation
The Real Science Behind Hacky Headlines, Crappy Clickbait, and Suspect Sources
by R. Philip Bouchard
Pub Date 09 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 09 Feb 2022
Superfoods, right brain versus left brain, lungs of the planet—these and other commonly shared pop science phrases are certainly catchy and all-to-quick to trend online. But they are also often wrong (or at least not quite right). These shorthand analogies, memes, and buzzwords distort the actual science and leave out key details, leading readers to develop a misunderstanding of the world around them.
In The Stickler’s Guide to Science in the Age of Misinformation, R. Philip Bouchard takes a closer look at 13 pervasive scientific untruths—tackling a range of topics from gravity and radiation to global warming and pandemics—and humorously and accessibly shares the real science behind them. You’ll learn why trees do not “store” carbon dioxide, why DNA is not really the “blueprint of life”, and why a day is not actually 24 hours.
The deeper we understand these issues, the better we can do as citizens in an era of half-truths, propaganda, and outright lies. The Stickler’s Guide to Science in the Age of Misinformation makes well-researched science easy to understand, providing satisfying answers while sparking a curiosity to learn more.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
I’m always a sucker for science books, so this one was perfect for me. The author takes multiple phrases and ideas that are so common you hardly ever think about them, and then he actually breaks them down and explains the science (or lack thereof) behind them. I definitely had a fun time learning new details and even getting a few refresher courses on older science.
I love this book. R. Philip Bouchard takes inaccurate or incomplete expressions and, like a stickler, proceeds to show what’s wrong with them. But he doesn’t do this in a pedantic way. He explains in detail and in a conversational tone what actually happens and shows why the expression is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete. All the science is very well-explained in a non-technical manner. He writes with a good sense of humor and adds in personal anecdotes, giving the book a unique tone that should be interesting to readers with or without a science background. Bouchard creates a great relationship with the reader and seems to be the type of author I’d love to meet over coffee. Also adding to the messaging are some very good illustrations and charts. This book is a pleasure to read, and I recommend it for anyone interested in science. Thank you to Netgalley and Timber Press for the advance reader copy.
This title is going to the be new favorite book for everyone in your life who says "Well, actually..." Bouchard takes a deep dive into the phrases we hear tossed around the scientific community, including the five senses, the Amazon rainforest acting as the lungs of the world, and the idea that there is no gravity in space. With easy to understand language and helpful graphics, THE STICKLER'S GUIDE TO SCIENCE IN THE AGE OF MISINFORMATION is a fun size candy bar for the science curious.
First of all, thanks to #NetGalley and @timberpress for providing me a free e-copy of this book in return for an honest review. We live in the age of misinformation and unfortunately people relentlessly spread this misinformation, and while people question stuff, it's often not driven from critical thinking but from the urge to be against - without any ounce of thought and compassion. Media helps here, where sensation and clicks and comments are above neutrality and some topics get completely wrong connotations. This book deals with this - how some ingrained popular scientific ideas are, well, not wrong, but actually not quite right. So the author explains the proper science behind theses like "there is no gravity in space", "people only have five senses", the ever popular "epidemics and pandemics" and one that makes me eye-roll every time I run into it - "superfoods and toxins". The book covers 13 of topics like this, each backed up by science behind it and explained what is off about them and what's the real truth. The thing is, the huge chunk of this book is what you learn in school so it's a great book to pick up if you wanna refresh your knowledge. But that being said, it reads too much like a school book at times. I expected a more comedic or whimsy approach based on the cover and title. I liked the inclusion of the illustrations, which were simple enough to be easily understood and fit with the text nicely. As a physicist, I found physics related chapters the most interesting. But since I've been into science for the most of my life, I've already understood most of the concepts from this book so didn't acquire much new information. People who are not that vexed in science would benefit from this book as it's a quick and comprehensive summary of the most popular scientific topics in the media. The book is out Nov 9, 2021.