Journalist David Freedman walks us through an impressive list of false and conflicting claims made by experts in a variety of fields that really drives home the dubiousness of much -- if not most -- of what passes for expert wisdom. The book is worth this carefully assembled and annotated collection of dueling truth claims alone.

There’s plenty of blame for our expert misinformation to go around, says Freedman. From respected scientists to financial wizards to self-appointed relationship gurus, people whom we credit with specialized knowledge conduct sloppy research, suppress disconfirming data, and leap to unwarranted conclusions. Journalists oversimplify and misrepresent study findings. Bad advice thrives in part because the public demands easy fixes that are “resonant, provocative and colorful.”

via Skeptic » eSkeptic » Wednesday, July 14th, 2010.