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Strange Songs from the Fringe

When odd birds sing their strange songs, does it change the forest? Do others, who don’t know any better, mimic those songs until the forest is filled with dissonance? This is an important question when it comes to science, history, and scholarship in general in Trump-era America. We used to be able to notice the odd birds, think them interesting or not, then move on to proper work based upon facts and evidence. Now the highest echelons of our government tilt their ears to hear the weird peeping and smile in agreement. Sharon Hill’s new book Scientifical Americans: The Culture of Amateur Paranormal Researchers addresses this issue at an important time.

Scientifical Americans: The Culture of Amateur Paranormal Researchers. By Sharon Hill. Mc-Farland, Jefferson, N.C., 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1476672472. 277 pp. Kindle edition, $18.99; paperback, $35.
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The War on Science, Anti-Intellectualism, and ‘Alternative Ways of Knowing’ in 21st-Century America