Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change
I am an economist who came to realize that the marketplace of ideas was a political doctrine, and not an empirical description of how we came to know what we think we know. Science has never functioned in the same manner across centuries; it was only during my lifetime that it became recast as a subset of market reality. I have spent a fair amount of effort exploring how economics sought to attain the status of a science; but now the tables have turned. It is now scientists who are trained to become first and foremost market actors, finally elevating the political dominance of the economists.
This book is a history of how American economists sought to incorporate “information” into their theories of choice and markets. Far from being driven by psychology or philosophy, we argue most of the options were borrowed from the natural sciences. The version which eventually became dominant by the late 20th century was prompted more by the politics of neoliberalism than by any logical or empirical considerations.
The book illustrates my larger interest, which is to explore how claims to know something are often rooted in a curious admixture of science and politics. I continually find that the supposed separation of science from politics rarely holds up in history.
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We think you will like The Billion-Dollar Molecule: The Quest for the Perfect Drug, Naval Institute Guide to Naval Writing, and The Nature of Drugs: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact if you like this list.
From Frank's list on prescription drug discovery and developed.
This account of the early years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, from its inception as a scrappy start-up to its early work in HIV, is a must-read classic for anyone interested in how science turns into new drugs. Barry Werth’s journalistic play-by-play is a cinematic, true-to-life picture of the strategic decisions, real-world challenges, and larger-than-life personalities that underlie modern drug development. His riveting follow-up, The Antidote, continues the saga by taking readers through Vertex’s pathbreaking work to transform the care of patients with hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis.
From William's list on World War II in the Pacific.
Every military historian and-or editor needs this manual on their bookshelf. My editor’s preference for my books is to use both the Naval style as well as writing out military acronyms or abbreviations for the convenience of the reader.
From Erika's list on the history of psychedelics.
This is the first volume of lecture notes from the infamous Alexander (Sasha) Shulgin, “inventor” of MDMA “ecstasy or molly”. Sasha and his wife Ann are well known in the world of psychedelics for their publications based on Sasha’s incredible knowledge of chemistry, Ann’s capacity to integrate experiences, and their shared contributions to the world of psychedelia. This new book, with an introduction from Mariavittoria Mangini, is a ‘warts and all’ introduction to the chemistry of mind alteration. It is highly accessible, at times comical, and a fascinating opportunity to voyeuristically sit in on a series of Shulgin lectures that promises to pique your curiosity about our chemical lives.