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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.

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Aceaussie
  • New York, NY United States
  • 01-29-18

Very interesting

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I really enjoyed this book, it was a fascinating insight into how egos and science collide and the price that is paid. Very well narrated also.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Cautionary Tales and How-to-Think Instructions

First-rate production of a message we all need to follow. I.e., require evidence to support what we think we know. Let’s hear it for double-blind, peer-reviewed, reproducible studies!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

20 of 29 people found this review helpful

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avoid common trends and think for yourself book

excellent coverage of the good and bad of various discoveries. also, don't believe people even if they are "experts" if it doesn't make sense. great book for all medical professionals!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • plano, tx, United States
  • 11-13-17

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

17 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • T
  • 02-21-18

Not a feel good read...

The information is great, very interesting... but it's a serious bummer. I bought this audiobook on my phone, so I missed the skull inside the beaker on the cover....