Evaluating Science

Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us by George Zaidan

Before I read it, I thought this book was about specific foods or personal care items, what is in them, and whether they are good or bad for you. It isn’t. It is about a much bigger topic. How to tell when science is legitimate, especially when reported on in the news.

It is an entertaining, informative, and accessible look at how to evaluate the science behind all those headlines that tell you what is good to eat and what will kill you sooner. The section on the “potholes” to look out for in the scientific studies you read about is alone worth the time to read the book.

His last chapter is his advice after having gone through all the science in the rest of the book. His final four “bits of advice” are:

  1. Don’t worry so much.
  2. Don’t smoke.
  3. Be physically active.
  4. Try to eat a healthy diet; any doctor-approved diet will do.

Oh, and if you are religious, you might want to skip the appendix. It will likely offend you.