Pandora’s Lab

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Pandora’s Lab

Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong

Paul A. Offit, Greg Tremblay

$19.95

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Description

What happens when ideas presented as science lead us in the wrong direction? History is filled with brilliant ideas that gave rise to disaster, and this book explores the most fascinating—and significant—missteps.

Pandora’s Lab takes us from opium’s heyday as the pain reliever of choice to recognition of opioids as a major cause of death in the United States; from the rise of trans fats as the golden ingredient for tastier, cheaper food to the heart disease epidemic that followed; and from the cries to ban DDT for the sake of the environment to an epidemic-level rise in world malaria.

These are today’s sins of science—as deplorable as mistaken ideas from the past such as advocating racial purity or using lobotomies as a cure for mental illness. These unwitting errors add up to seven lessons both cautionary and profound, explained by renowned author and speaker Paul A. Offit. Offit uses these lessons to investigate how we can separate good science from bad, using as case studies some of today’s most controversial creations: e-cigarettes, GMOs, and drug treatments for ADHD.

For every “Aha!” moment that should have been an “Oh no,” this book is an engrossing account of how science has been misused disastrously—and how we can learn to use its power for good.


Author

Paul A. Offit:

Paul A. Offit is an author and a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the coinventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day. He is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee on immunization.




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