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Thursday, March 22, 2007

States of Fear: Science or Politics?

I read Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear when it was first released a couple of years ago. It's such an eye-opening look at the environmental movement that I've been meaning to post a review of it, even though it's not a new release.

Now comes word of this new DVD release:

At one time, both the pseudoscientific geocentric notion of the universe (that the Earth lies at the center of the solar system) and eugenics (the racial theory to “purify” the human race) were widely accepted by leaders in science, politics, journalism, and business.

Such theories were pushed by powerful interest groups that possessed highly politicized agendas driving government policies and public opinion, until ultimately both theories were disproved. Is environmental debate today, including global warming, bio-technology, and other issues, based on science or politics? Are popular accounts of such issues rooted in science or phantom risks? Are government policies focusing on the trivial while ignoring the real, and in the process wasting limited resources, crippling human innovation to address true dangers, and inviting tyranny?

In discussing not just environmental issues but the increasing politicization of science itself, best-selling author Michael Crichton examines the intersection of media, politics, and science, inspiring viewers to challenge old assumptions and to search beneath the surface of issues as they seek to discover the truth.

Scientists Bruce Ames (U.C. Berkeley), Sallie Baliunas (Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), William Gray (Colorado State U.), and Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor show how scientific debates have been politicized by appealing to the fears of an uninformed public.
Here's a clip from the DVD:

h/t: GWH


Teaparty said...

I just finished reading the book for the second time about a week ago. It's like mother's milk.

I'm trying to get one of my daughter's to read it now. It's only a matter of time before I am accused of child abuse.

BTW...thanks for the link above.

JR said...

Great find. I'll be buying a copy. Note that it can be ordered from for $17.00 Cdn.

I'll also be recommending it for purchase by my local public library.

Drew said...

This video is currently available on bit torrent.

I have a link to it here