[ASC-list] Book release - Tribal Science: brains, beliefs and bad ideas

Mike.Mcrae at csiro.au Mike.Mcrae at csiro.au
Wed Mar 2 03:02:33 UTC 2011

Hi all,

On Monday, my first (hopefully of a few) pop-science book was published by UQP. I'm hoping to get the word out about it. There's a fair bit on science communication, exploring the diverse relationships between science and culture amongst the public.

Press release:

"In Tribal Science, Mike McRae argues that humans didn't evolve to do science, but to get along in tribes.

Survival depended more on social connections than understanding the universe, but remarkably science - the quest for objective knowledge - developed anyway.

Tribal Science looks at where science came from and why it works despite the quirks of our tribal minds. Mike shows how our brains are driven by beliefs and biases and the need to belong, and how this social way of thinking meddles with our capacity to think critically.

>From here he charts an intriguing history of science, from the emergence of critical enquiry among early philosophers, to the development of the scientific method, major scientific discoveries and bizarre delusions, and our current dependence on modern medicine and technology.

He looks at how our tribal-wired brains manipulate science and why, in an age of evidence and enlightenment, we still cling to superstitions, beliefs and bad ideas - from 'clinically proven' cosmetics to bogus medical treatments and other miracles of pseudoscience. Finally, Mike considers the future of knowledge and the vital place of critical thinking in an information-saturated digital world."

Mike McRae

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