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A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos

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Super Collider a Waste of Money

Science Journalism and Advocacy

There are movie critics, book critics, fashion critics, and restaurant critics, but there are few science critics. The educational specialization required usually makes science writers, or scientists outside their narrow band of expertise, diffident about criticizing any scientific project. They can be too easily rebuked for discussing matters beyond their understanding, and in their natural reluctance to incur the resentment of sources and/or colleagues, they sometimes lose all critical distance. (In a 1994 New York Times op-ed on congressional failure to support the Texas Super Collider, the science writer Dick Teresi characterized a physicist who had given up the subject to become ...

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