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Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3201/eid1604.091710
  • Book Review
  • Medicine


Letters.indd BOOKS AND MEDIA Infectious Disease Surveillance N.M. M’ikanatha, R. Lynfi eld, C.A. Van Beneden, H. de Valk, editors Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, USA, 2007 ISBN-13: 978-1-4051-4266-3 Pages: 560; Price: US $195.00 This book devotes chapters to the usual infectious disease suspects and surveillance concepts and systems. I will not go into details of its contents and glowing attributes; the publisher ( book.asp?ref=9781405142663) and reviewers (1,2) have done a good job on this. Instead, I conducted a simple review to try and answer the following question: compared with a free Internet search, is purchase of a $195.00 book worth it? My hypoth- esis was that by entering the title of a chapter from the book in a search en- gine, one could fi nd comparable con- tent within the fi rst 20 results (links) returned. Methods After selecting the chapter that corresponded with every 50th page of the book, I visually scanned that chapter for scope and content. Then I performed a Google search using the chapter title and ranked the level of congruence between the topics in the book chapter and the topics at the In- ternet links as follows: fully compa- rable, >1 links covered most (≈%75) topics in the chapter; partially compa- rable, >1 links covered many (≈50%) of the topics; and not comparable, all links reviewed (up to 20) covered <50% of the topics. Each search re- sult link was reviewed in successive order up to 20 results until >1 enabled a ranking of fully comparable. Links that led to other links would be fol- lowed only 1 level deep. Links that required log-in or payment or that reproduced a complete chapter were excluded. Results Of the 40 chapters, 10 were re- viewed. Of these, 4 were ranked as fully comparable, 4 as partially com- parable, and 2 as not comparable. For example, a rating of fully comparable was given for the chap- ter “Public Health Surveillance for Vaccine Adverse Events.” Aft

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