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In the Interests of Safety: The absurd rules that blight our lives and how we can change them

Tracey Brown, Michael Hanlon

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Popular science

An entertaining and fascinating examination of the rules and regulations that dominate everyday life.

Does an airline pilot really need to surrender his tweezers at airport security when he's about to board an aircraft equipped with an axe on the back of the cockpit door? Can a mobile phone really cause a major explosion at a gas station? And is there really a good reason why you should be be prevented from swimming in a lake more than a foot deep?

These rules exist, and they exist in the name of our own protection. But in this engrossing dissection of global health, safety and security regulations, authors Tracey Brown and Michael Hanlon dig a little deeper to discover the real reasons behind many of the instructions we obey without questioning their creators' motives. Their conclusions range from the startling to the staggering, and in presenting them the authors seek to empower readers to question the people and organisations who come up with them in the first place.

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Praise for In the Interests of Safety: The absurd rules that blight our lives and how we can change them

  • In the Interests of Safety has debunked some of the myths that blight our lives - The Sun

  • [In the Interests of Safety] tells you how to stand up to a jobsworth with knowledge, courtesy and common sense - The Times

  • In this book Tracey Brown and Michael Hanlon take on the large, profitable and growing 'security industry' and expose its foolishness, its impotence and, most worryingly, its tendency to inflict unintended consequences . . . In the Interests of Safety challenges innumerable assumptions and foolishnesses - Literary Review

  • [An] excellent, sceptical take on safety culture - BBC Focus

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Tracey Brown

Michael Hanlon is a London-based science journalist and author who writes regularly for national newspapers as well as The Spectator and New Scientist. Michael is the author of five popular science books, including: The Science of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ten Questions Science Can't Answer Yet and Eternity: Our Next Billion Years. Michael has participated in a gorilla rescue in Congo, become thoroughly lost in central Borneo and experienced a zero-gravity astronaut training flight over the Nevada desert. He finally saw the light about climate change after a swim in a melt-water lake a mile up on the Greenlandic icecap.

Tracey Brown is the Director of Sense About Science, a charity that campaigns for better evidence in public debate and policy making in the UK, and world-wide through international collaboration. She has led award-winning national campaigns to defend sound research and to stop misleading medical claims and, through Sense About Science, is currently challenging the routine concealment of clinical trial data by medical drug development companies. Tracey has contributed to books and journals on science, policy and the public, including Better Science Communication and comments regularly in newspapers, magazines, events and broadcasts.

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