Genre: Popular Science
Published: 28 February 2008
Publisher: Viking


Did you dare give your child the three-in-one MMR vaccine? Afraid you’ll get so fat you’ll die before your time? Worried that Tesco/Walmart will swallow up your local store, or will we all be hit by an asteroid first?

Every day, the press warns us of some new calamity that will threaten our lives. The risks of simply being alive apparently grow ever more alarming. Life has never been better yet we live in fear. Why do we work ourselves up into such a state? Because these stories are a heady mix of supposedly scientific information and journalistic hype. Our hearts fall for the ‘story’ and our heads believe the ‘facts’.

Panicology will help you make sense of the jungle of threats. It will explain why things are seldom as bad as they’re painted. Upbeat and optimistic in its world-view yet robust and sceptical in its analysis, it will equip you to approach the scares of today — and tomorrow — without panic, but with rational levelheadedness and perhaps a measure of insouciance. Panicology is a feel-good book about the oh-so-desperate state we’re in.

"Gloriously deft in their rebuttal of some of the more egregious cases of media-fuelled herd idiocy."
- Observer
"A cool and intelligent look at such issues as bird flu, global warming, terrorism, species extinction and so on" - Tibor Fischer, Sunday Telegraph
"A reality check on the endless catalogue of disasters that are supposed to wait us." - New Statesman
"An uplifting and very interesting sceptics' concordance to everything we read in the news. I recommend it." - Daily Telegraph
"A sceptical and optimistic 'feel-good' book which intends to face the scares of today -- and tomorrow." - Collective
"Promises welcome relief" - Harper's Bazaar
"A rigorous analysis of several dozen of the most popular media scare stories." - Economist