for Nibbling on Einstein's Brain by Diane Swanson and Warren Clark
Believe it or not, in the 1950s and 1960s competent scientists actually tested an "edible memory theory." Only through the time-honored tradition of scientists cross-checking one another's results did the theory get discarded.
Science is everywhere! It's astonishing to what extent it pervades our lives, influencing us on a daily basis. But there is a lot of faulty and phony research, and it's difficult for the public to discern what science is good and what is false or misleading. Nibbling on Einstein's Brain takes a fun yet informative look at the scientific facts that constantly bombard us.
How can we equip ourselves to better judge what is good and what is suspect? First we must examine how good science works. And don't worry, there is plenty of good science out there. You'll learn how to follow a "scientific method" for developing theories, designing research to test those theories, and analyzing the results in order to reach conclusions. You'll be amazed at how fascinating the process can be. Now go back: is the initial theory still sound? Good science is always checked and rechecked, both by the original scientist and by others in the field.
Plenty of tips are offered on how to be discerning when it comes to science. Chapters are organized into specific themes to help the reader become a skilled scientific watchdog:
- 21 "Baloney Busters" look at how science can go wrong (sometimes in hilarious ways). A checklist of things to watch for ends the chapter.
- Since most of us rely on the media to learn about scientific advances, how can we tell when something is reliable? "Media Alerts" examine how reporting can confuse or misrepresent science. Tips on how to be a smart consumer of news and products are recapped in a final checklist.
- "Mind Traps" explore how the human mind -- your mind -- can muddle the science news you receive. There are hints on how to look critically at science research and how to doubt while still keeping an open mind. A mind-trap question checklist finishes things off.
The engaging text is perfectly geared to middle readers and is complemented by amusing illustrations and a lively design. Numerous sidebars throughout feature intriguing facts, examples of experiments, humorous tales, and provocative quotes from scientists, astronomers, and philosophers. Kids are encouraged to question the process of science so they can separate the good from the bad. A list of recommended books, magazines, and Internet sites as well as a glossary of terms complete this illuminating exploration of science and how it enters our everyday world.