Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Review: Panicology by Hugh Aldersey-Williams and Simon Briscoe

: Panicology: Two Statisticians Explain What's Worth Worrying About (and What's Not) in the 21st Century by Hugh Aldersey-Williams and Simon Briscoe

About: The authors explain how concerned or how unconcerned you should be about a bunch of media-hyped topics. Genetically modified foods, Earth annihilation (by terrorism, meteors, global warming, global cooling or ozone holes) and ocean overfishing are just a few of the topics tackled.

Pros: In-text citations. Interesting. Lots covered. Nice skeptic's guide at end

Cons: Silly "scoring system" is not fully explained and seems tacked on. Mentions the Gloucester high school "pregnancy pact" but does not identify it as a hoax. Identified misspelled as "indentified" on page 79 of the hardcover. Former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani is named "Rudi" on page 90 of the hardcover. No index. Number of citations is way too sparse considering all the information presented.

Grade: B-

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