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Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age

We all swim in a sea of Big Data, dangerously vulnerable to the unscientific thinking that now replaces the critical faculties we used to rely on. We seek simple explanations where complexity is required. But as we endeavor to solve global problems of energy, food, and water shortages, a planetary biodiversity crisis, and emerging threats to our public health, the development of scientific habits of mind becomes even more essential for our survival. We fear numbers and prefer neat and simple solutions to complex problems, but scientific reasoning plays a central role in combating misinformation and is one of our best tools for meeting the upcoming crises of our century. From confronting our fear of quantitative reasoning and demystifying graphs to elucidating the key concepts of probability and data analysis and the use of precise language and logic, this book supplies an essential set of apps for the frontal cortex while making science both accessible and entertaining. Who says it has to be dull to learn to think like a scientist? Who says only a few can do it? Not David Helfand, one of our nation’s leading astronomers and science educators. Helfand has taught scientific habits of mind to generations of Columbia University undergraduates, where he continues to wage a provocative and necessary battle against sloppy thinking and the encroachment of misinformation.
Products specifications
Isbn 9780231168724
Publisher Columbia University Press
Imprint Columbia University Press
Contributor 1 Helfand, David J.
Pages 336
Author Bio

David Helfand is the former chair of the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University where he has been on the faculty for nearly four decades. He has also served as a visiting scientist at the Danish Space Research Institute and at Cambridge University. He is president and founding tutor at Quest University Canada and has published commentary in Nature, Physics Today, the Globe and Mail, and the New York Times, among other publications.

Audience Professional/Scholarly
Format Trade Cloth
Answer Code SPR
Release Date 01/26/2016
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