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In the pursuit of truth with “Good Science”

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CSU-Pueblo sociology professor Timothy McGettigan offers an interesting analysis on how scientific innovation has impacted life as we know it in his newest book “Good Science: the Pursuit of Truth and the Evolution of Reality,” released in book stores nationwide Sept. 16.

Photo courtesy of amazon.com.

“Good Science” was published by Lexington Books, a subsidiary of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc. McGettigan has written four books and has also authored numerous scholarly and newspaper articles.

His latest title takes readers on a journey through scientific discovery, from Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein, as he analyzes a series of the most monumental scientific breakthroughs in history. The book seeks to define the relationship between truth and science and how it has continually redefined mankind’s social realities.

In the book’s foreword, the author begins by asking the question: If science is merely an endeavor based on truth, and that truth by definition is nothing more than a list of verifiable facts, then would fantastical innovations such as flight, space travel and robotic assembly lines ever have existed? With the birth of these new technologies, what was previously known to be true has now been redefined.

Beginning with Italian scientist Galileo Galilei’s discovery of moons orbiting Jupiter, McGettigan explains how scientific discoveries have challenged the prevalent thinking of the day and changed the world’s perception of reality. The people of the day no longer saw the Earth as the center of the universe.

As McGettigan walks through each monumental achievement, he gives a short narrative of each of remarkable scientists with a type of commentary that reveals his admiration of their discoveries.

McGettigan is obviously well versed in this field and his vocabulary makes his book equivalent to the experience of reading a scholarly journal. In other words, this book is not for fun. Anyone looking for a quick, light read should be fore-warned.

 Through his perspective, McGettigan offers an alternative way of viewing each new scientific accomplishment the world achieves and the consequences that come with each new conquest.

While the book’s premise is undeniably interesting, the author seeks to take on a great number of social issues in one short book, and therefore tends to lose focus of the main idea.

In addition to the occasional loss of focus, his writing style is full of rewrites that explain the previous sentences rather than giving a clear concise statement the first time around, at times making the book feel as if it is going in circles.

 The book’s cover claims McGettigan’s ideas are “groundbreaking,” and yet there is nothing found in this book that has not been previously suggested. Numerous studies have shown the effects technology has had on society, the consequences that have arose from many of our most noted scientific accomplishments and many “Star Trek” fans will tell you how the communicator used in the show inspired the flip phone.

While McGettigan does offer an interesting approach by taking the reader through time, the writer’s argument falls short of groundbreaking. However, McGettigan’s book could be a good starting point for a discussion of the impact scientific breakthroughs have had on social and biological environments and what that means for the future of mankind.