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January 13 , 2010

Science Under Siege?

Interest Groups and the Science Wars


The combative metaphor of Oscience warsO has taken on a predominant position within the collective conscious, from being featured on the programs of scientific meetings to being splashed across the pages of leading national magazines and newspapers. Some in the scientific community perceive their profession to be under siege by members of the academic left, radical environmentalists, religious fundamentalists, eco-feminists, and others. This book, based on in-depth interviews with sixty members of groups with alleged Oanti-scienceO attitudes, examines how pervasive and uniform these critiques are. The research is designed to examine two conflicting hypotheses: 1) that anti-science attitudes reflect a general cynicism about all major social institutions, and 2) that anti-science views are not broadly based but are reflective, instead , of the particular interests of a given social grouping. In the final analysis, Perrucci and Trachtman dig at the root of the so-called Oscience warsO by presenting evidence that the wars are not the product of an overarching suspicion of the institutions at the core of our society, but are instead the product of organized interest groups, which shape the attitudes and beliefs of their respective members.
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