A powerful defense of intellectual freedom told through the ordeals of contemporary scientists attacked for exploring controversial ideas, by a noted science historian and medical activist.
An investigation of some of the most contentious debates of our time, Galileo's Middle Finger describes Alice Dreger's experiences on the front lines of scientific controversy, where for two decades she has worked as an advocate for victims of unethical research while also defending the right of scientists to pursue challenging research into human identities. Dreger's own attempts to reconcile academic freedom with the pursuit of justice grew out of her research into the treatment of people born intersex (formerly called hermaphrodites). The shocking history of surgical mutilation and ethical abuses conducted in the name of "normalizing" intersex children moved her to become a patient rights' activist. By bringing evidence to physicians and the public, she helped change the medical system.
©2015 Alice Dreger (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
First, the title refers to the fact that Galileo's mummified middle finger is in an Italian museum.
The author, a science historian, demonstrates with case after case that failure to separate the scientific investigation from personal/group religious, social, and political ideology leads to bad science. Her examples are all from the political left, where she resides and is comfortable. Many of the political and social beliefs of leftist social justice warriors are so strong that to investigate them scientifically is treated as heresy.
One in 2000 births results in a child of uncertain gender assignment, a condition now called "intersex" but formally called "hermaphroditism". Most of the book is about gender assignment issues either intersex or through preference after childhood.
Even for those who have not faced intersex issues this non-fiction book is worthwhile as a study of how ideology and government money perverts honest scientific investigation.
I wanted to read this book at my sister's insistance, because I love reading stories of this type as a scientist myself. But I didn't have time to read anything, so I downloaded the audio version instead. I finished it that same day, I couldn't stand to put it on pause. I listened all through work and on my comute to and fro, and loved it.
This book is so interesting, thoughtful, and so meticulously researched. I very much enjoyed it.
"excellent book on studies of sex ambiguities in babies and why the sex choice should not be the doctors choice!"
Excellent book on the sex ambiguities of babies and the social and personal implications as to why the sex choice should not be the doctors decision, but the individual.
Great points were made in her research on conjoined twins and how most felt broken and torn when surgically separated.
Many times the decision made by others has caused severe implications and even suicide to the individual.
This is a book for all to read and will bring light on a subject many fear to talk about!
Great insight into the state of science. Changed my understanding of biological xx and xy as it relates to the spectrum of sexual manifestation.
Start over with another reader
Performance would be more appropriate for a work of fiction--too emotive for nonfiction.
I may have to buy the book to get through it
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