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Catching "Real Science in the Act", and Much More....

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJuly 15, 2007 7:59 PM


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Much ink is starting to get spilt about Storm World. Arguably the book's best review yet appears in the LA Times today by Thomas Hayden. Although not without criticism, Hayden ends the review like this:

Science is a messy business, more a matter of hard work, blind alleys and lucky guesses than a straight march from question to answer. Above all, science is about uncertainty and the way we stumble through it looking for clarity. Science is not always elegant and not always even particularly effective. But (to paraphrase Winston Churchill on democracy) it's surely better than any of the alternatives. In "Storm World," Mooney catches real science in the act and, in so doing, weaves a story as intriguing as it is important.

It's always a privilege to find a reviewer--at a major independent outlet, not on the blogs where people already get this stuff--who deeply grasps and internalizes the message of your book. I also had a quite sensitive and thoughtful review by Ellen Ruppel Shell in the Boston Globe a week ago, but so far I think Hayden best conveys what I'm trying to get across about the process of high-stakes political science, which works far differently today, thanks largely to the 24-7 mass media, than it did back when Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.... Meanwhile, Kevin Drum has reviewedStorm World at Political Animal, and there's a review/profile of me today in the Tampa Tribune, perfectly timed for my talk at Inkwood Books this afternoon. The Tampa Tribune piece focuses on the hurricane risk to the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area in particular, and so will I in my speech. On Tuesday I speak in my hometown, New Orleans, and the local Times Picayune today also runs a very positive review by books editor Susan Larson. Quote: "[Mooney] says in his introduction that readers might think of his book 'as a homegrown New Orleans science writer's idiosyncratic way of coping.' But for those of us in the hurricane zone, it should be required reading." Finally, I have an op-ed today in the Orlando Sentinel about the National Hurricane Center blowup, which I don't think we've heard the last of, as Congress is planning hearings next week.....

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