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Pandora’s Lab Audiobook

Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong

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Publisher's Summary

What happens when ideas presented as science lead us in the wrong direction? History is filled with brilliant ideas that gave rise to disaster, and this book explores the most fascinating - and significant - missteps.

Pandora's Lab takes us from opium's heyday as the pain reliever of choice to recognition of opioids as a major cause of death in the United States; from the rise of trans fats as the golden ingredient for tastier, cheaper food to the heart disease epidemic that followed; and from the cries to ban DDT for the sake of the environment to an epidemic-level rise in world malaria.

These are today's sins of science - as deplorable as mistaken ideas from the past such as advocating racial purity or using lobotomies as a cure for mental illness. These unwitting errors add up to seven lessons both cautionary and profound, explained by renowned author and speaker Paul A. Offit. Offit uses these lessons to investigate how we can separate good science from bad, using as case studies some of today's most controversial creations: e-cigarettes, GMOs, and drug treatments for ADHD.

For every "Aha!" moment that should have been an "Oh no", this book is an engrossing account of how science has been misused disastrously - and how we can learn to use its power for good.

©2017 Paul A. Offit (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (138 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles 07-05-17
    Charles 07-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "excellent source of information"

    I always love learning especially when it's about science and science history. This book gives an insight on why critical thinking is so important and at how wrong we can be.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Armygunsmith Planet Earth 04-26-17
    Armygunsmith Planet Earth 04-26-17 Member Since 2016
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    "More of the medical, less of the political"

    The medical stuff was pretty fascinating, but the author kept inserting political points that had little to do with the subject matter.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Johnson Mercado 06-03-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Stick to the science and drop the political slant."
    Would you listen to Pandora’s Lab again? Why?

    No. The science and story were good, but the author did a lot of Republican political bashing and drawing unfounded similarities. That would have been fine for a book on politics, but was not appropriate for a book on scientific discoveries. It seems like nothing is non-partisan these days.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Paul A. Offit, MD again?

    No


    Have you listened to any of Greg Tremblay’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, he is an excellent performer.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John plano, tx, United States 11-13-17
    John plano, tx, United States 11-13-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Fascinating"

    I loved it. It eloquently provides how some science can create unintended consequences. It also shows how social pressures on sciences and scientist have played a part in certain scientific disasters. It truly is relevant in today's world with anti-vaxxers, demagogue language from leaders, and data denial can cause horrendous damage. Great work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Giacomo London, England 11-09-17
    Giacomo London, England 11-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Throughly enjoyable"

    Enjoyed the style of how each section was presented as a story. Narration by Greg Tremblay adds to the already excellent book. Learnt a few new things compared to the fluff you have to put up with some authors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john smitherman 11-09-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Close Facebook and read this book!"

    We live in a world of sound-bite immersion where personality drives opinion. Movie stars influence our thoughts more than data. News anchors do not deliver the facts as much as they are on-air rock stars in their own right. What they say is taken for gospel regardless of how carefully their stories are underpinned with data.

    It is a dangerous world.

    You and your family are in danger without careful, critical thinking like that described in this book.

    Pandora’s Lab should be essential reading for every thinking adult, especially every medical doctor.

    Please read this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Calvin 10-08-17
    H. Calvin 10-08-17
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    "Distracting and nonsensical introduction of the author’s political views"

    Unless you like a heavy dose of politics mixed into the story, pass. For example, the author repeatedly tries to link President Trump to the eugenics movement. If I wanted politics, I would have bought a book on politics. And it’s not even accurate. For example, Paul Offit, the author, intentionally conflates Trump’s views on illegal immigration with all immigrants. There is a difference, doctor. Opposing illegal immigration is in accordance with our laws. I live by the rule that if you have to lie or distort the truth to make your point, then maybe your point is lacking. I don’t mind opposing views, I just don’t like them shoved down my throat when I’m trying to learn about something unrelated. The author’s politics adds nothing to the story except to make me wonder what else he is distorting in such an unbalanced manner.

    Two thumbs down.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristian Olsen 09-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    "The perfect travel companion"

    It was recommended to me by a colleague in the biochemistry department and I have really enjoyed listening to the book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Etienne Minnie 05-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A great book...captivating."

    A great book...captivating.

    Was a little concerned about his references to "the data" but in general a story well told.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 04-12-17
    Joe 04-12-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing"

    Dr. Offit is an amazing writer and scientist. This book, using stories from history, illustrates how professionals and the public should think about science and medicine. Amazing and should be basic reading in every medical/dental/Phd program.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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