Pandora’s Lab, Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D.

Four Stars

Available at Amazon

Science gone wrong has caused problems throughout the ages. Science misinterpreted by non-scientists has created disasters. In “Pandora’s Lab” the author selected seven, of what he believes, the most damaging actions science has wreaked upon humanity. Many of the scientific endeavors were made worse by politicians ignoring the data and facts and going with public opinion. He talks about the effects of politicians ignoring the facts on margarine and DDT and opines on how the discovery of ammonia-based fertilizer saved humanity and may destroy life.

You may not agree with all of his choices, but his conclusions are based on data gathered from several scientifically-based experiments for each topic. He also covers how earning a Nobel prize does not keep the winner from going off the rails as in the case of Linus Pauling and his ill-informed belief about the use of vitamins.

It’s an interesting read set up in a way making it easy to read a chapter, set it down, and start the next chapter on a separate subject. The result, for me, of reading “Pandora’s Lab” was to encourage me to study the data behind the bloviation. It’s recommended for people who need to be more skeptical about what they read and hear in the news.