quantitative literacy, quantitative reasoning, civilization, environment
In Numbers Don’t Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World (2020), Vaclav Smil draws on his interdisciplinary background in science, public policy, and history to provide readers with 71 short essays that help us better understand aspects of the world–including its people, environment, energy consumption, and present crises (among other things). In most of his essays, Smil utilizes both data and reasoning with data to shed light on diverse topics, with issues ranging from happiness rankings and vaccine payoffs to chicken production and diesel engines. Though the book arguably has some flaws, its easy-to-digest essays–many of which use tools we often teach in quantitative reasoning courses–provide excellent case studies for instructors to use in the classroom.
Tunstall, Samuel L.. "Bite-Sized Quantitative Reasoning Essays: A Review of Numbers Don’t Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World (2020), by Vaclav Smil." Numeracy 16, Iss. 2 (2023): Article 2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5038/1936-46184.108.40.2066
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