Deceived Wisdom: Why What You Thought Was Right Is Wrong Hardcover – 8 Nov 2012
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'At last, a book that blows away many of the urban myths that we've come to accept without questioning. Well written and engrossing' -- Dr John Emsley, author of Nature's Building Blocks and other popular science books
'Let it be announced from the rooftops that David Bradley has compiled this charming book, Deceived Wisdom, showing that some of the popular Old Wives Tales and things you could have sworn were true because you heard them down the pub are, with the appliance of science, just another charabanc of retired shoe manufacturers ... Good things come in small packages, and I read it in a single session. It's a book you can dip into, one of those things that no well-stocked shelf in the Smallest Room should be without ... if you want a stocking-filler for the geek in your life, especially if they are teenagers and might not have come across these before, then this has to be it.' -- Henry Gee, Occam's Typewriter
'I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it entertaining, but it is also extremely informative, smart, and thorough. While Bradley discusses some complex topics, his clear writing makes reading about these brainteasers a breeze.' --Kim Lacey, Guru Magazine
'This is a brilliant book, which presents some really pertinent information in a fun and enjoyable manner ... Bradley reinforces what science is really all about: questioning what you know and never accepting something just because somebody else tells you it's true.' --Paul Blakely, Unpopularscience.co.uk
About the Author
David Bradley has worked in science communication for almost 25 years. He has written for New Scientist, The Telegraph, The Guardian and many other publications, as well as contributing to and editing books including The Bedside Book of Chemistry. He has won awards for his writing and blogging, including Daily Telegraph Young Science Writer of the Year. He blogs at www.sciencebase.com and tweets as @sciencebase to more than 20,000 followers. He lives in Cambridge, England, with his wife.
Top Customer Reviews
David Bradley, a top science writer based in the UK puts a plethora of common misconceptions under his microscope and shows you why the stuff that you thought was right is really rubbish.
Written with a light and humorous touch, reading `Deceived Wisdom' will enable you to shoot down dinner-party bores, win endless quiz shows when Stephen Fry invites you to star in `QI' and generally educate yourself beyond the misinformation doled out in primary and secondary schools (and probably quite a few universities.)
I'd browsed the pre-publication extended sampler and enjoyed it - so my wife bought me the real thing and it's a nicely produced hardback book with even more pearls of real wisdom and knowledge. It's science, it's information, and it's fun! Perfect for Xmas stockings...
It was enjoyable enough that I was disappointed when I got to the end. “Too short, too short!” went my irrepressible internal narrative. Leave ‘em wanting more? Hoping there's a sequel planned, anyway.
Did it teach me anything? Well, some of the deceived wisdom presented therein I was able to be smug about. Yes, I knew that, but aren’t some people /silly?/ But yes, it does appear that I’m just as inclined to accept some deceived wisdom as the next guy, sadly. (I’ve “known” why you go pink and wrinkly in the bath for about 45 years, for instance. And the “tea cools you down” thing didn't quie fit with my worldview. Not a bad thing, of course -- and if this helps people challenge some of the things they unthinkingly take for granted, that's probably all to the good!!
I've dropped a star because there's a point where a discussion of the physical ensues from a question about the perceptual (sorry, I'm deliberately trying not to write spoilers!) that I'm not at all sure is justified. Doesn't devalue the science, I guess...
Thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening read. The familial knowledge chain has now been broken and I will not pass down the 'facts' told to me to my little girl.
Another example is dispelling the idea that the team that scores first will generally win the match. To do this scientists used a hypothetical footballs match to show the chances of scoring do not change. No consideration seems to have been made of the morale boost gained from getting the first goal, likely to make a significant difference to real footballers and none at all to hypothetical footballers. I'm no statistician but I would have thought checking results of real games to see what proportion of games were won by the tea, that scored first would have been a better test for this idea
Most of the items are fascinating, however, many of them new to me. Overall I enjoyed them all, apart from the one about a pot belly
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I always knew it is never too cold to snow. Now I have the proof if anyone ever come out with that nonsense!Published 1 month ago by James Bland
Science Snippets. Some topics get extended treatment, but most are brief introductory explanations preceding links to the work of other people or organisations. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Hopeful Evangelist
An entertaining read that could have been better exemplified. Rather than linger on a single point with multiple, repetitive and unnecessary examples that illustrate the point this... Read morePublished 6 months ago by R101
Book has a great premise but is seriously let down by its execution.
The elements of "deceived wisdom" - which are essentially commonly held... Read more
This is the book I've been waiting for! De-bunks all the things that you have been told (and thought were true). Thanks David Bradley!Published 15 months ago by Bethanne
A nice little book for a nice little price. I wanted just yo expand my common knowledge and this book did it in a clear and non patronizing way. Interesting and small.Published 18 months ago by Justine Knight
A lot of the so-called advice refuting well known and tried solutions did not ring true. Also I found that a lot of the assertions were long winded and did not hold my attention. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dudley F. Martin
Haven't yet finished it, but am finding it amusing and informative, and full of reminders of my mother's sayings.Published 20 months ago by anneka