Issue 48

Mindboggling: Preliminaries to a science of the mind   by Roy Harris.  Do you have a mind?  Answers to this question have divided Western thinkers for centuries, and still do.  Mindboggling sets out to identify a nucleus of basic issues about the mind, and present the main arguments for and against in each case.  Targeted to a lay readership, each chapter discusses a different theory, myth or idea about the mind.  Anticipate wails from theorists whose theories have been given short shrift.  Mindboggling is available from Amazon (including Kindle), from Bookshops or direct from Publishers.


Science on Television by Bienvenido León.

The book is a clear and systematic guide to the narrative and rhetorical techniques used by science documentary filmmakers. The book is priced at £18.50, but for direct orders we are offering a 20% discount.  The book is also available on Amazon Kindle.


Motivating Science is a collection of articles from the first five years of The Pantaneto Forum.  We are offering a 20% discount for direct orders.  The book is also available on Amazon Kindle.




Three of the articles in this quarter’s issue of the Pantaneto Forum are on different aspects of risk.


Leo Stander and Louis Theodore’s article deals with environmental concerns about nanotechnology.  This area of materials technology is of increasing importance and possible risks to health and other adverse effects need to be assessed.


Risk perception is difficult to measure and varies across different groups.  In “A Cross-Cultural Study on Environmental Risk Perception and Educational Strategies”, Hongxia Duan and Rosanne Fortner examined environmental risk perception differences between students in Beijing, China and Ohio, U.S.A.


In “Distinguishing Risk and Uncertainty”, Kevin Elliott and Michael Dickson emphasized the importance of assessing risk under uncertainty.  This is counter to what they claim is a false pretence by policy makers “that they have a more detailed knowledge about the probabilities of outcomes than they really do”.


Sometimes, important and influential thinkers are overlooked in the English speaking world simply because their works have not been translated into English.  One such person is Charles Renouvier (1815-1903), who was an important philosopher of science in France in the mid-nineteenth century.  In “Science and the Social Contract in Renouvier”, Warren Schmaus explains some of Renouvier’s ideas.


The proceedings of the Science Matters conference, which we reported in Issue 28, October 2007, have been published and are available from the publishers – World Scientific.


Nigel Sanitt Editor

ISSN 1741-1572



Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology—An Update, Leo Stander and Louis Theodore


A  Cross-Cultural  Study  on  Environmental  Risk  Perception  and  Educational  Strategies:  Implications  for  Environmental  Education  in  China,  Hongxia  Duan and Rosanne  Fortner


Distinguishing Risk and Uncertainty in Risk Assessments of Emerging Technologies, Kevin C. Elliott and Michael Dickson


Science and the Social Contract in Renouvier, Warren Schmaus