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Shelf Life May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

UCSD BOOKSTORE - NEW & NOTABLE

Here are a few new and notable faculty books at the UCSD Bookstore.

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, coauthored by Naomi Oreskes, History

Merchants of Doubt “might be one of the most important books of the year,” writes a reviewer in The Christian Science Monitor, and former Vice President Al Gore weighs in to say that “anyone concerned about the state of democracy in America should read this book.”

In Merchants of Doubt, summarized in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as “a disturbing tale of how some scientists sell their souls to advance political and economic agendas,” UC San Diego science historian Naomi Oreskes and co-author Erik Conway, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, show that a few scientists helped to manufacture public doubt around the science on cigarette smoke, acid rain, the ozone hole, the pesticide DDT and, most recently, global warming.

These scientists—some of them eminent, but in fields other than the ones on which they were casting doubt—were motivated by free-market fundamentalism, Oreskes and Conway argue, and were backed both by self-serving corporations and think-tanks dedicated to fighting government regulation. Aided in their campaigns by a press striving to present both sides of a story, they have managed to mislead and confuse the public about well-established scientific knowledge for decades. Professor Oreskes will be addressing a UCSD Near You event in Sacramento, January 27, 2011.

Stem Cells for Dummies,  coauthored by Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, Revelle ’76, Ph.D. ’80, Medicine

The director of UC San Diego’s Stem Cell Program, Larry Goldstein, tackles one of the most misunderstood and challenging subjects of our time in a volume of the popular “Dummies” series. Stem Cells for Dummies, according to the publisher, “offers a balanced, plain-English look at this politically charged topic, cutting away the hype and presenting the facts clearly for you, free from debate.” In the book, Goldstein debunks several myths that have become pervasive about stems cells. It is not true, for example, that embryonic stem cells come from aborted fetuses, or that President George W. Bush banned stem cell research.

Curious Folks Ask: 162 Real Answers on Amazing Inventions, Fascinating Products, and Medical Mysteries, by Sherry Seethaler, Science Communications

Why does the flu change every year? What makes glue sticky? What causes out-of-body experiences? Are all brands of gas the same? Is one “horsepower” really equal to the power of one horse? Why can’t you sneeze with your eyes open? How much does a cremated body weigh? These are just a few of the questions that real people have asked UC San Diego science writer and educator Sherry Seethaler. She answered them first in her weekly “Questions Answered” column in the Quest section of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and now in this ­anthology. 

Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America, by Rebecca Jo Plant, History

Before Mother was blamed for a panoply of personal and social ills, she was seen as self-sacrificing, even saintly; and motherhood was also an all-encompassing identity. A kiss between a mother and her grown son did not necessarily elicit suspicion or revulsion in the early twentieth century, as it would in 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate. What happened? Historian Rebecca Jo Plant examines the people and groups who challenged older ideals of motherhood, and traces the change through several key moments in American history and popular culture.

 

Visit the UCSD Bookstore online to purchase these titles and more. Look out for the monthly Alumni Special.

Man reading

TOP TEN

Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Guernsey Literary Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich and Caroline Mustill

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

New Moon–Twilight Saga #2 by Stephenie Meyer

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Post-America World by Fareed Zakaria

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

2009 Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy by David N. Gilbert