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list price: $16.95
edition:Paperback
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published: Sep 2001
ISBN:9781550376869
publisher: Annick Press

Nibbling on Einstein's Brain

The Good, the Bad and the Bogus in Science

by Diane Swanson, illustrated by Warren Clark

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philosophy
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $16.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover Paperback Hardcover
published: Sep 2001
ISBN:9781550376869
publisher: Annick Press
Description

"At one time cannibals in New Guinea believed they could absorb the skills and knowledge of their enemies by eating their brains."

Believe it or not, in the 1950s and 1960s competent scientists actually tested an "edible memory theory." Only through the time-honored tradition of scientists cross-checking one another's results did the theory get discarded.

Science is everywhere! It's astonishing to what extent it pervades our lives, influencing us on a daily basis. But there is a lot of faulty and phony research, and it's difficult for the public to discern what science is good and what is false or misleading. Nibbling on Einstein's Brain takes a fun yet informative look at the scientific facts that constantly bombard us.

How can we equip ourselves to better judge what is good and what is suspect? First we must examine how good science works. And don't worry, there is plenty of good science out there. You'll learn how to follow a "scientific method" for developing theories, designing research to test those theories, and analyzing the results in order to reach conclusions. You'll be amazed at how fascinating the process can be. Now go back: is the initial theory still sound? Good science is always checked and rechecked, both by the original scientist and by others in the field.

Plenty of tips are offered on how to be discerning when it comes to science. Chapters are organized into specific themes to help the reader become a skilled scientific watchdog:

Science Watch
Media Watch
Mind Watch

The engaging text is perfectly geared to middle readers and is complemented by amusing illustrations and a lively design. Numerous sidebars throughout feature intriguing facts, examples of experiments, humorous tales, and provocative quotes from scientists, astronomers, and philosophers. Kids are encouraged to question the process of science so they can separate the good from the bad. A list of recommended books, magazines, and Internet sites as well as a glossary of terms complete this illuminating exploration of science and how it enters our everyday world.

 

Contributor Notes

Diane Swanson is a successful, award-winning writer of non-fiction for children. She is the author of over 35 books for children, including The Doctor and You (2000), Animals Eat the Weirdest Things and Safari Beneath the Sea. Diane lives in Victoria, B.C.

Warren Clark studied at the Michael's School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa. He has spent his career working as a graphic and book designer, first in England and then in Alberta. Warren now lives in the wilds of British Columbia.

 

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
9 to 12
Grade:
3 to 7
Editorial Reviews

A good introduction to bad science ... a highly readable text and jaunty line illustrations, the book encourages critical thinking and skepticism when evaluating science reporting and media hype.

— Booklist

Fascinating and kid-friendly ... an introduction to the tools and strategies needed to evaluate and understand scientific information.

— School Library Journal

Challenges the reader to be a critical thinker ... funny illustrations make this brain-booster book worth nibbling on.

— Detroit News/Free Press

A lighthearted but reliable explanation of the scientific method of research ... written for children 8 to 12, but even high school students or college students assigned a science project would find this simple explanation of the scientific method useful.

— Florida Times-Union

EDITOR'S CHOICE: 'A great resource for K-12 teachers and students about how to perform, analyze and assess research, but also on how to look critically at data generated by the various types of media ... Anyone who is trying to get their students to question facts should get their hands on this book. The chapter summaries are an invaluable resource in themselves.'

— Science Books and Films

This humorous and useful book attempts to help students learn to analyze the "science" that's reported in the news.

— Book Report

Teachers, parents, librarians, and other adults who want to make science attractive to young people will snap up Nibbling on Einstein's Brain with gusto. Highly recommended.

— Canadian Materials

An engaging combination of accuracy and humor ... After reading this book students should have a clear understanding of the differences between sound and unsound scientific inquiry.

— National Science Teachers Association, recommended

An extremely useful introduction to a subject that is rarely broached effectively.

— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Nibbling on Einstein’s Brain: The Good, the Bad and the Bogus in Science

Swanson equips kids with strategies on how to tell the difference between legitimate science and sketchy science. This informative book, which promotes critical- thinking skills, features artwork that lends levity to the serious content. Originally published in 2001 by Annick Press with illustrations by Warren Clark (Our Choice 2002).

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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