Top critical review
Science or Politics?????
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2018
Through the years I have always eagerly looked forward to reading the annual "The Best American Science and Nature Writing". I was extremely disappointed this year to find that the Foreword by series editor Tim Folger was a diatribe against the current President and his administration. Folger creates an imaginary award named the Quack for 'communication unsullied by reason'. He then proceeds to name four individuals he deems worthy of the award and their failings and ‘criminal efforts’.
The editor of the current edition, Sam Kean, continues the theme in his Introduction. He discusses the election of 2016 and the results as a disappointment to the ‘vast majority’ of scientists. He says, “Those who are political wake up outraged or dispirited every day”. He also states that, “Science is more dignified-it will rise above, will outlast any single man or administration, no matter how coarse or ugly.” He then goes on to say that despite his obvious political views, he selected stories that ‘split the difference’ between pure science pieces and those that fit his political views.
When I purchased the book I was not looking for any more political vitriol. I get enough of that in the daily news broadcasts. I was looking to learn a little more about our world and scientific advancements. Perhaps I would have learned from the included articles information that might have affected my thoughts on certain political issues, but the harsh one-sided tones of the editors caused me to immediately return my book for a refund. I would encourage anyone interested in this book to download a sample and read the Forward and Introduction BEFORE purchasing.