Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories Of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. OffitPandora's Lab: Seven Stories Of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit

Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories Of Science Gone Wrong

byPaul A. Offit

Hardcover | April 4, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$27.92 online 
$34.00 list price save 17%
Earn 140 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


What happens when ideas presented as science lead us in the wrong direction? 

History is filled with brilliant ideas that gave rise to disaster, and this book explores the most fascinating—and significant—missteps: from opium's heyday as the pain reliever of choice to recognition of opioids as a major cause of death in the U.S.; from the rise of trans fats as the golden ingredient for tastier, cheaper food to the heart disease epidemic that followed; and from the cries to ban DDT for the sake of the environment to an epidemic-level rise in world malaria.

These are today's sins of science—as deplorable as mistaken past ideas about advocating racial purity or using lobotomies as a cure for mental illness. These unwitting errors add up to seven lessons both cautionary and profound, narrated by renowned author and speaker Paul A. Offit. Offit uses these lessons to investigate how we can separate good science from bad, using some of today's most controversial creations—e-cigarettes, GMOs, drug treatments for ADHD—as case studies. For every "Aha!" moment that should have been an "Oh no," this book is an engrossing account of how science has been misused disastrously—and how we can learn to use its power for good.
PAUL A. OFFIT is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School o...
Title:Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories Of Science Gone WrongFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.29 × 6.29 × 0.92 inPublished:April 4, 2017Publisher:National Geographic SocietyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1426217986

ISBN - 13:9781426217982


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Immensely Captivating! Six Star Material! I cannot praise this book enough. I wish it was several times as long. In this most-appropriately titled/subtitled book, the author recounts seven stories, one per chapter, of situations where science seemed to have made a great breakthrough when, in fact, it was just the opposite - with disastrous results. In each case, both sides are examined in detail, starting with the apparent benefits of the “discovery”, followed by the disastrous aftermath and finally an analysis of “what went wrong”. The author tells it as he sees it, in a prose that is passionate, authoritative, lively, clear, friendly, accessible, objective, sufficiently detailed and, above all, absolutely gripping! I was breathlessly turning the pages as time just flew by. In my view, all the stories are absolutely amazing - all being well-researched and well-referenced. As objective and careful as science is supposed to be, it is still done by humans…… I believe that this is a book that everyone should do themselves a big favor with and read it – medical doctors, health professionals, scientists and regular lay-people alike.
Date published: 2017-07-06

Editorial Reviews

"This is a much needed book — especially now."—NPR“After spending years compiling a list of 50 of the world’s worst inventions, [Offit] conducted his own sad version of March Madness to whittle it down to just a handful of finalists…all have proved to be disastrous for human health."—The Washington Post"A fascinating and sometimes shocking look at how science can sometimes lead to disaster." —Booklist"In warning the public of pseudoscientific danger, Offit urges the public to examine available data; beware of quick fixes, fads, and charismatic health gurus; and understand that every advance comes at a price." —Publishers Weekly"Another rousing, pull-no-punches piece from a physician set on educating the public about the fallibility of scientists." —Kirkus Reviews