Recommended Reading

Corporate Ties That Bind: An Examination of Corporate Manipulation and Vested Interest in Public Health (Hardcover)


In the 21st century, corporations have worked their way into government and, as they become increasingly more powerful, arguments about their involvement with public health have become increasingly black and white. With corporations at the center of public health and environmental issues, everything chemical or technological is good, everything natural is bad; scientists who are funded by corporations are right and those who are independent are invariably wrong. There is diminishing common ground between the two opposed sides in these arguments.

Corporate Ties that Bind is a collection of essays written by influential academic scholars, activists, and epidemiologists from around the world that scrutinize the corporate reasoning, false science and trickery involving those, like in-house epidemiologists, who mediate the scientific message of organizations who attack and censure independent voices. This book addresses how the growth of corporatism is destroying liberal democracy and personal choice.

Whether addressing asbestos, radiation, PCBs, or vaccine regulation, the essays here address the dangers of trusting corporations, and uncover the lengths to which corporations put profits before health.
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Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits (Hardcover)


When Speaker Newt Gingrich greeted Dr. David Lewis in his office overlooking the National Mall, he looked at Dr. Lewis and said: “You know you’re going to be fired for this, don’t you?” “I know,” Dr. Lewis replied, “I just hope to stay out of prison.” Gingrich had just read Dr. Lewis’s commentary in Nature, titled “EPA Science: Casualty of Election Politics.” Three years later, and thirty years after Dr. Lewis began working at EPA, he was back in Washington to receive a Science Achievement Award from Administrator Carol Browner for his second article in Nature. By then, EPA had transferred Dr. Lewis to the University of Georgia to await termination—the Agency’s only scientist to ever be lead author on papers published in Nature and Lancet.

The government hires scientists to support its policies; industry hires them to support its business; and universities hire them to bring in grants that are handed out to support government policies and industry practices. Organizations dealing with scientific integrity are designed only to weed out those who commit fraud behind the backs of the institutions where they work. The greatest threat of all is the purposeful corruption of the scientific enterprise by the institutions themselves. The science they create is often only an illusion, designed to deceive; and the scientists they destroy to protect that illusion are often our best. This book is about both, beginning with Dr. Lewis’s experience, and ending with the story of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (Paperback)


“Merchants of Doubt should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is settled. It is, and we ignore this message at our peril.”-Elizabeth Kolbert

“Brilliantly reported andwritten with brutal clarity.”-Huffington Post

Now a powerful documentary from the acclaimed director of Food Inc., Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversial story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is “not settled” have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. “Doubt is our product,” wrote one tobacco executive. These “experts” supplied it.

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Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health (Hardcover)


“Doubt is our product,” a cigarette executive once observed, “since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”
In this eye-opening expose, David Michaels reveals how the tobacco industry’s duplicitous tactics spawned a multimillion dollar industry that is dismantling public health safeguards. Product defense consultants, he argues, have increasingly skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. To keep the public confused about the hazards posed by global warming, second-hand smoke, asbestos, lead, plastics, and many other toxic materials, industry executives have hired unscrupulous scientists and lobbyists to dispute scientific evidence about health risks. In doing so, they have not only delayed action on specific hazards, but they have constructed barriers to make it harder for lawmakers, government agencies, and courts to respond to future threats. The Orwellian strategy of dismissing research conducted by the scientific community as “junk science” and elevating science conducted by product defense specialists to “sound science” status also creates confusion about the very nature of scientific inquiry and undermines the public’s confidence in science’s ability to address public health and environmental concerns Such reckless practices have long existed, but Michaels argues that the Bush administration deepened the dysfunction by virtually handing over regulatory agencies to the very corporate powers whose products and behavior they are charged with overseeing.
In Doubt Is Their Product Michaels proves, beyond a doubt, that our regulatory system has been broken. He offers concrete, workable suggestions for how it can be restored by taking the politics out of science and ensuring that concern for public safety, rather than private profits, guides our regulatory policy.

Named one of the best Sci-Tech books of 2008 by Library Journal!

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Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It (Paperback)


“A rallying cry to bring government back under the control of the people . . . Their argument is impassioned and accessible.” —Library Journal

American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how their time is spent. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe.

In this powerful work of reportage, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then inspire us by introducing us to an army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action. The battle plan for reform presented is practical, realistic, and concrete. No one–except some lobbyists and major political donors–likes business as usual, and this book aims to help forge a new army of reformers who are compelled by a patriotic duty to fight for a better democracy.

An impassioned, infuriating, yet ultimately hopeful call to arms, Nation on the Take lays bare the reach of moneyed interests and charts a way forward, toward the recovery of America’s original promise.

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The Electric Wilderness (Paperback)


Book by Marino, Andrew A, Ray, Joel
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