Deceptively graphic


Science tales
Darryl Cunningham
Myriad Editions
2012 | 176pp | £11.99 (HB)
ISBN 9780956792686
Reviewed by David Bradley

I recently obtained a commission to write a book about deceived wisdom: lies, hoaxes and scams, essentially all the stuff you thought was right, that’s actually wrong. So, it was a bit of a shock when Darryl Cunningham’s Science tales landed on my desk for review.

Thankfully, Cunningham has taken a rather different tack and debunks the denialists in several areas, from climate change and evolution to homeopathy and vaccination. He also takes an illustrative slant to his deconstruction of the modern myths in that his neat book adopts the genre of the graphic novel as the medium for his attack on the naysayers, conspiracy theorists and scaremongers. The approach makes for a quick read, but one that is not superficial, despite appearances, as the message contained in each tale is an important one. Science tales is a follow-up to Psychiatric tales and focuses on just eight topics, all deserving of a good debunking.

There are far fewer words in Cunningham’s book than I plan to write for mine, but his clear narrative is expertly drawn and sometimes culled from photographic archives. This provides an eye-catching way to get across the important message that a science-based approach to understanding makes far more sense than one that is evidence-free.

Much of modern conventional wisdom is framed by the media, corporations and activist groups to attend to their own agendas. Cunningham draws out the fictions and lays bare the facts.

Purchase Science tales from Amazon.co.uk


Related Content

100 chemical myths: misconceptions, misunderstandings, explanations

12 January 2015 Review

news image

Mythbusting

A tale of seven elements

28 November 2013 Review

news image

Trials and tabulations

Most Read

Flushing advice is flawed

24 August 2015 Research

news image

Protocols to restore contaminated water supplies are not based on science

Simple chemistry saving thousands of gold miners from mercury poisoning

25 August 2015 News and Analysis

news image

Basic apparatus is cutting mercury pollution and helping Indonesian miners go for gold

Most Commented

New drug treatment for alcoholism shows promise in animal studies

24 August 2015 Research

news image

Compounds that target a receptor in the brain appear less addictive with fewer negative side-effects than existing drugs

A risky business

28 August 2015 In the Pipeline

news image

Graduate research is likely the most risky time of a chemist’s career, says Derek Lowe