Developed for use in college and university courses, Science and Society provides a broad selection of science writing intended to help students think critically about science and related ethical issues, and to write effectively about science in a variety of styles. The anthology combines pieces aimed at a general audience—including essays by Stephen Jay Gould, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Malcolm Gladwell—with a substantial selection of academic writing, including research articles from journals such as The Lancet, Science, and PLOS ONE. The volume is arranged thematically according to discussion topics ranging from climate change and factory farming to gender discrimination in the sciences and corporate involvement in medical research. Special attention is given to controversial works, including Stanley Milgram’s “Behavioral Study of Obedience,” and to examples of science gone wrong, such as Andrew Wakefield’s infamous paper falsely linking the MMR vaccine to autism.
The volume’s introduction outlines major issues in contemporary science, such as publication bias and the commercialization of research, as well as introducing writing concepts such as objectivity of tone and active/passive voice. Each article is accompanied by discussion questions and by helpful explanatory footnotes for non-specialist readers.
“Through a wide selection of essays, Science and Society: An Anthology for Readers and Writers illustrates how writers and readers must both take responsibility for scientific discourse. The variety of texts and genres is diverse, a carefully woven interplay of voices, ranging from popular writers like Jared Diamond to social psychologist Stanley Milgram to lesser known academic specialists. The anthology is wide in scope, dipping into the disciplines of geology, psychology, medicine, genetics, agriculture, engineering and technology, and gender.
“As a way to urge students to think not only about content, but about context, historical moment, and exigence, the editors present a variety of questions that skillfully merge the disciplines of science and composition/rhetoric. Students that encounter this text will leave with a stronger understanding of the conventions of scientific writing, audience (both addressed and invoked), and how to use sources. Furthermore, the anthology does a nice job of presenting examples of discourse that achieves its purpose, as well as examples that fall short – allowing students to differentiate between the two. To sum up, Society and Science allows students to see scientific writing in a new way, as an active, unending conversation between a variety of players.” — Kat Gonso, Northeastern University
“This is an excellent collection of readings that covers some of the most riveting and important scientific controversies of our time. The book reveals how poorly conducted or poorly written science can have widespread consequences [and] gives insight into the process of science, including the behind-the-scene practices that can create bias. This is a must-read for students going into science, science writing, or science policy. This is one of the few readers I’ve seen that includes both original research papers and the media coverage of them; it’s essential for students to read good and bad examples of both types of writing. The appendices also contain a superb and concise summary of good writing practices for scientists.” — Kristin Sainani, Stanford University
“[This anthology includes] both positive and negative examples of writing about science [that] will be excellent for teaching [and] articles on controversial issues [that] will increase student involvement. … Science writing aimed at a popular audience will work great for students with different majors.” — Olga Menagarishvili, Georgia Institute of Technology
A Note on the Texts
I Human Geology: Reading Planet Earth
- Jared Diamond
- Luis W. Alvarez, Walter Alvarez, Frank Asaro, and
Helen V. Michel
FROM Extraterrestrial Cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction
- Elizabeth Kolbert
The Sixth Extinction?
- The “Hockey Stick” Graph
- Michael Mann
Myth vs. Fact Regarding the “Hockey Stick”
- Fred Pearce
Battle over Climate Data Turned into War between Scientists and Sceptics
- Fred Pearce
Climate Change Debate Overheated after Sceptic
Grasped “Hockey Stick”
- What’s Up? South! Map
- Alexis de Greiff and Mauricio Nieto
FROM What We Still Do Not Know about South-North
Technoscientific Exchange: North-Centrism, Scientific
Diffusion, and the Social Studies of Science
II Psychology: Experimenting with Authority –
The Milgram Controversy
- Stanley Milgram
Behavioral Study of Obedience
- Diana Baumrind
Some Thoughts on Ethics of Research: After Reading
Milgram’s “Behavioral Study of Obedience”
- Stanley Milgram
Issues in the Study of Obedience: A Reply to Baumrind
- Ian Nicholson
FROM “Torture at Yale”: Experimental Subjects,
Laboratory Torment and the “Rehabilitation” of
Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority”
- Joseph Dimow
Resisting Authority: A Personal Account of the Milgram Obedience Experiments
III Medical Research: Experimenting with Drugs and Unsuspecting Populations
- A.J. Wakefield, S.H. Murch, A. Anthony, J. Linnell, D.M.
Casson, M. Malik, M. Berelowitz, A.P. Dhillon, M.A.
Thomson, P. Harvey, A. Valentine, S.E. Davies, and J.A.
RETRACTED: Ileal-Lymphoid-Nodular Hyperplasia, Non-Specific Colitis, and Pervasive Developmental
Disorder in Children
- Brian Deer
How the Case against the MMR Vaccine Was Fixed
- Nancy F. Olivieri, Gary M. Brittenham, Christine E.
McLaren, Douglas M. Templeton, Ross G. Cameron,
Robert A. McClelland, Alastair D. Burt, and Kenneth
Long-Term Safety and Effectiveness of Iron-Chelation
Therapy with Deferiprone for Thalassemia Major
- David G. Nathan and David J. Weatherall
Academic Freedom in Clinical Research
- George Constantinou, Stavros Melides, Bernadette
Modell, Michael Spino, Fernando Tricta, David G.
Nathan, and David J. Weatherall
The Olivieri Case
- F.E. Vera-Badillo, R. Shapiro, A. Ocana, E. Amir, and
FROM Bias in Reporting of End Points of Efficacy and Toxicity in Randomized, Clinical Trials for Women with Breast Cancer
- Ben Goldacre
Ghostwriters in the Sky
- Ben Goldacre
FROM Bad Pharma
IV Genetics: Inheritance, Measurement, and Pseudo-Measurement
- Stephen Jay Gould
Critique of The Bell Curve
- Malcolm Gladwell
None of the Above: What IQ Doesn’t Tell You about Race
- Richard C. Strohman
Linear Genetics, Non-Linear Epigenetics:
Complementary Approaches to Understanding
- Keith Baverstock and Mauno Rönkkö
FROM Epigenetic Regulation of the Mammalian Cell
V Agricultural Science: Humans and Other Animals
- Jeff Downing
FROM Non-Invasive Assessment of Stress in Commercial Housing Systems: A Report for the Australian Egg
- Humane Society International
Beyond Doubt: Intensive Farming Practices Results
in Stressed Birds
- Christine Parker
The Truth about Free Range Eggs Is Tough to Crack
- Toby G. Knowles, Steve C. Kestin, Susan M. Haslam,
Steven N. Brown, Laura E. Green, Andrew Butterworth,
Stuart J. Pope, Dirk Pfeiffer, and Christine J. Nicol
FROM Leg Disorders in Broiler Chickens: Prevalence,
Risk Factors, and Prevention
- European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Plant Protection Products and Their Residues (PPR)
FROM Scientific Opinion on the Science behind the Development of a Risk Assessment of Plant Protection
Products on Bees
- Damian Carrington
Common Pesticides “Can Kill Frogs within an Hour”
- Tim Fox and Ceng Fimeche
Executive Summary of Global Food: Waste Not,
VI Engineering and Technology: Risk Platforms
- Alexandre Erler
In Vitro Meat, New Technologies, and the “Yuck Factor”
- William F. Baker, D. Stanton Korista, and Lawrence C.
FROM Engineering the World’s Tallest — Burj Dubai
- Jimmy Lee Shreeve
Mile-High Tower Wars: How Tall Is Too Tall?
- Ethan Kross, Philippe Verduyn, Emre Demiralp,
Jiyoung Park, David Seungjae Lee, Natalie Lin, Holly
Shablack, John Jonides, and Oscar Ybarra
FROM Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective
Well-Being in Young Adults
VII Human Gender: Some Cultural and Laboratory Perspectives
- Emily Martin
The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles
- Corrine A. Moss-Racusin, John F. Dovidio, Victoria L.
Brescoll, Mark J. Graham, and Jo Handelsman
FROM Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Students
- David Reilly
FROM Gender, Culture, and Sex-Typed Cognitive Abilities
- Amy B. Wisniewski, Claude J. Migeon, Heino F.L. Meyer-Bahlburg, John P. Gearhart, Gary D. Berkovitz, Terry R. Brown, and John Money
Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome: Long-Term Medical, Surgical, and Psychosexual Outcome
Appendix A How to Use Sources
Appendix B Writing about Science: A Closer Look
The companion sites include content for both instructors and students.
The instructor site has a teaching guide. An access code to the website is included with all examination copies.
The student companion site has additional readings, writing materials, and interactive online questions. An access code to the website is included with all new copies.