The War on Science Part 4 - Chapters 11-13 Summary

In the fourth and final part of The War on Science, Otto shifts his attention to the goal: winning the war. He first makes it clear that he believes the economy and the greater well-being of humanity and the planet are in direct opposition to each other, individualism vs collectivism. His analogy of the farmer’s adding to their herds only benefiting them but depleting the greater resources lends itself to the assumption that selfishness pays the individual but steals from the world.

The War on Science Part 3 - Chapter 10 Summary

Otto begins chapter 10 by reiterating one of his main points so far — science is not independent of politics. He then gives some background on past efforts to shape public opinion in the U.S., focusing on Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays is known as the “father of public relations”; he originally served on the Creel Committee, which sought to sway public opinion in favor of joining WWI. He continued afterward to help companies shape public opinion, advocating a “third party technique” in which the company itself is not the one seen promoting its viewpoint.

The War on Science Part 3 - Chapters 8 & 9 Summary

Shawn Otto begins the 8th chapter “The Identity Politics War on Science” by introducing the notion that truth as a construct is fundamentally different from scientific claims. Truth may very well be subjective and unique to the perspective of the observer but scientific claims are considered truly objective, meaning that the same conclusion will be reached regardless of who is measuring/observing/determining the claim.

The War on Science Part 2 - Chapters 3, 4 & 5 Summary

Otto begins Part 2 by describing the founding of the United States, specifically that the US was founded not as a Christian nation, but rather one based on the ideals of freedom — including freedom of exploration and religion. The founders of the US, as well as European and other scholars, believed that science was to be used to assist in the study of God’s creations and that its purpose was to shed light on the wonders of the world created by God. They felt that Nature, unlike divinity, was knowable and understandable and humans could understand God’s will by studying nature.