Questioning Longitude

Blog post looking at the issue of what libraries should do (if anything) to connect readers to information that is critical of a particular book or article.


The matter becomes a minefield when the book deals with a controversial subject. Arming America by Michael Bellesilles which deals with 2nd amendment rights is another example.

You are correct about controversial topics being a minefield. I was discussing the blog post I made with a colleague and they sent me a link to this article that is about genetically modified food and the book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

The author of the article also posted on Amazon to direct people to alternative information. On Amazon after they were attacked for their view the author of the article gave this info about their background - I have studied genetics for 15 years (20 if you include school learning), never been funded by any industry and have 2 degrees and a PhD in this subject. I have read literally all the evidence and research for and against GM technology/agriculture in that time and made my opinion from what I have read and personally seen from my research. If that makes me an ignoramous and a corporate shill (I don't even know what that means) then so be it.


I find it interesting that anti-evolution (intelligent design) people are attacked for being anti-intellectual and anti-science but there are numerous groups in America that are on all sides of political and religious thought that like to ignore science. I am pretty sure I could find an anti-GM food person that would rail against the anti-science intelligent design people and then proceed to throw all the science about GM crops out the window.

Someone posted after the blog entry this comment - Isn't this what footnotes and bibliographies are for?

I don't see how footnotes and bibliographies address the issue raised. Where would this footnote be that questioned the Longitude book? The idea is to allow people to be aware of articles and books that question other books.

A better response might be - Isn't this what Amazon is for?

With many areas that deal with books Amazon is filling a niche that libraries should be in but never got around to.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.