A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age
Scientific Habits of Mind
by David J. Helfand
Q172.5.E77 H45 2016
New Arrivals, 2nd floor
Increasingly over the last few years, fake new and pseudoscience have been in the forefront of our lives. However, this is not a new phenomenon; it has been around for decades if not longer. How can we figure out the truth?
Helfand has had a lengthy and illustrious career in astronomy at Columbia University and here uses his vast knowledge of the scientific process and scientific thinking to help people find good information in the sea of misinformation that surrounds us by using quantitative reasoning. Centuries ago it could take decades to be come an expert on a topic, but now Internet search engines can find answers to questions in mere seconds. People have answers, but might not be experts. We need to think rationally about what we read in order to make informed decisions. In this book Helfand’s goal is to “equip you for this task by cultivating those habits of mind,” using language and logic to help us understand numbers, graphs, and probability, which will ease us through the process. His context includes a variety of disciplines, so you will see relevance to your own life. The core of this book comes from an online text he has used for around 15 years at Columbia titled “Scientific Habits of Mind.”