Sound Science for the Masses

The Science Critic: A Critical Analysis of the Popular Presentation of Science. Maurice Goldsmith. Routledge & Kegan Paul, New York, 1987. 217 pp. $29.95. From time to time, experts concerned about the public's generally poor understanding of science propose to solve the problem by creating a new profession called science critic. By science critic these experts do not mean the consistently negative science gadflies like Jeremy Rifkin. Rather, they mean specially trained professionals, like art

Rae Goodell
Mar 8, 1987
The Science Critic: A Critical Analysis of the Popular Presentation of Science. Maurice Goldsmith. Routledge & Kegan Paul, New York, 1987. 217 pp. $29.95.


From time to time, experts concerned about the public's generally poor understanding of science propose to solve the problem by creating a new profession called science critic. By science critic these experts do not mean the consistently negative science gadflies like Jeremy Rifkin. Rather, they mean specially trained professionals, like art or literary critics, who would present to the public a balanced view of science.

British science writer Maurice Goldsmith argues that science critics are urgently needed to bring society to a new level of sophistication about science. Given the challenges of modern times, Goldsmith writes, the old forms of communication between science and the public are no longer adequate. Journalistic accounts of science tend to be gratuitously negative and scientists' accounts defensively optimistic. Science...