'Bad Science' award recognizes author's funny side

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:45

Chester — An international book competition that drew almost 4,000 entries might intimidate some authors. but Linda Zimmermann of Chester saw a silver lining to the challenge — in fact, she won a silver medal in the humor category. What made the award even more unlikely was the subject of her book, the history of science. “Most people think science is boring, but when you consider the really stupid things people have believed over the centuries, you can’t help but laugh,” Zimmermann said. Best known in Orange County for her Ghost Investigator series of books and lectures, Zimmermann has gone back to her roots in science, and added a twist of humor, with the publication of her award-winning book, “Bad Science: A Brief History of Bizarre Misconceptions, Totally Wrong Conclusions, and Incredibly Stupid Theories” (Eagle Press, 2011). The book examines the strange history of quack devices, alchemy, bloodletting, the worship of meteorites, faked data, secret testing, and the various trials and tribulations scientists have endured. The originality, design, and humor garnered Zimmermann the medal at the Independent Publisher Awards event held in Manhattan recently. Zimmermann was a research chemist before turning to writing and has published over 20 books on a wide variety of topics. But her heart still belongs to science — and humor. She is planning a book tour that will take her as far as Portland, Ore., to speak at the Mensa gathering this summer.