Monday, April 10, 2006

Junk Science Jousting

Leafing through SMP’s Fall ’06 catalog I noticed a book by Dan Agin titled Junk Science: How Politicians, Corporations, and Other Hucksters Betray Us. Given the high profile of Steven Millroy’s Junk Science website, Fox News on-line column, and his book Junk Science Judo, I would have recommended a different title for Agin, to avoid confusion. Knowing the politics of my chosen industry, it’s entirely possible his editor was unaware of Millroy’s Junk Science writings. Of course, Agin is perfectly within his rights to use any title he pleases. Perhaps he’s even hoping for a Junk Science smack-down. However, I suspect Millroy might be the beneficiary of any title confusion.

Currently, if you search for “Junk Science” on Amazon, Junk Science Judo is the first title up, followed by Peter Huber’s Galileo’s Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom. Granted, the pub. date for Agin’s book is still quite a bit away, but Millroy does have an established “Junk Science” brand.

I’ve heard Millroy speak at NY YR meetings, and have enjoyed his writing. There might be some areas of agreement between Millroy and Agin, but they don’t seem to be coming from the same place. Agin’s pet peeves seem to be stem cells and tobacco companies. Millroy’s signature issue has been debunking the deceptions of global warming demagogues, like Al of Arabia. He provides an important reality check against the costly statism of Kyoto. I haven’t read Agin so I have to reserve judgment on his book, but I do recommend Millroy’s work to anyone who doesn’t worship in the Luddite environmental death cult of the left.