Merchants of Doubt (2014, Robert Kenner)

Categories: 2014 and Movies.

This is a compelling film about how corporations and lobby groups use pundits to undermine scientific consensuses that would otherwise hurt their profits. The examines the bag of tricks both the tobacco industry and the oil industry have used to fool the American public about both the short and long term health risks of the use of their products, including making the conversation about economics, not science, and outright lying about scientific studies and consensus. Read More

Climate Change by the Numbers (2015)

Categories: 2015 and Movies.

This is an interesting TV documentary about mathematical models in climate science. It’s rather cursory in its overall focus – three mathematicians explain to us three numbers from the IPCC’s report – but rather detailed in the individual segments. It’s a good example of good popular science TV, as it’s easy to understand and interesting enough, but its made-for-tv nature and it’s relative brevity keep it from being a must watch. 7/10 Read More

Bad Science (2011) by Ben Goldacre

Categories: 2011, Books, and Non-Fiction.

First off, this is pretty much an essential read for anyone who doesn’t have a science background. Goldacre gives an easy to understand and funny crash course in basic evaluative tools to assess scientific studies  It’s also an important reminder of how little time each of us takes to digest what actually requires some time and thought. I highly recommend this to everyone, but especially to anyone currently opposed to vaccines, or convinced of medical “conspiracies” or relying completely on “natural” solutions to problems. Unfortunately, there is a problem – or rather two – and its a pretty big drawback, Read More

What the #$%& do I know? I know your movie #$%& sucks…

Categories: 2004 and Movies.

What the #$%& (Bleep) Do we Know? has some very fascinating ideas in it. Not knowing much about quantum physics or neurobiology I found some of this incredible and quite fascinating, but before I get to the subject matter I must point out that it is HORRIBLY written and directed. It attempts to be more than an interview film, and so creates a narrative possibly inspired by Sophie’s World (or maybe I’m just imagining things) and uses animation and really, really bad techno music (as well as lots of overplayed pop songs) to expand on this format. The result is Read More