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Are there good ways to find expert reviews of popular science books?

by Kaj_Sotala1 min read9th Jun 20204 comments


Scholarship & LearningWorld Modeling

As the title says. Non-expert reviews only evaluate how good the writing was, or how impressed the reviewer was by the ideas; but I typically want something that evaluates the actual scientific claims.

My one trick has been to look at Google Scholar for papers that cite the book and search for "review" within those, which sometimes finds reviews published at academic journals, but this doesn't seem very effective overall.

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2 Answers

Red Pen Reviews does something like this for health and nutrition books. I am not aware of similar initiatives for books in other scientific fields.

I suspect there is no general way. ): Even the academic reviews tend to cherry-pick one or two flaws and gesture at the rest.

Partial solutions:

  1. Invest the time to follow the minority of Goodreads users who know their stuff. (Link is people I follow.)
  2. See if Stuart Ritchie has reviewed it for money.