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.
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Top customer reviews
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.
If you like popular science books or you've any sort of science background then give it a miss.
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The elements of "deceived wisdom" - which are essentially commonly held...Read more