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Hormonal Chaos The Scientific and Social Origins of the Environmental Endocrine Hypothesis by Sheldon Krimsky, Lynn R. Goldman

Hormonal Chaos The Scientific and Social Origins of the Environmental Endocrine Hypothesis



Hormonal Chaos The Scientific and Social Origins of the Environmental Endocrine Hypothesis by Sheldon Krimsky, Lynn R. Goldman

In Hormonal Chaos, Sheldon Krimsky traces the emergence of an unorthodox hypothesis that casts new suspicions on a broad range of modern industrial chemicals. At the heart of his story is the Environmental Endocrine Hypothesis, the assertion that a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors are interfering with the normal functioning of hormones in animals and humans. Krimsky describes how this controversial theory was first elaborated and explores the complex factors that have contributed to its increased legitimacy and continued controversy.


This well-written and thoroughly researched book provides an invaluable overview of the controversies surrounding the new hypotheses about the relationships between chemical exposures and human and environmental health. The book al so has much to say about the process of science and how science and scientific theories change as well as providing an example of how to analyze other scientific controversies. -- Mrill Ingram * Environment * A fascinating look at the motivations and responsibilities of scientists, politicians, journalists, and industries, who rush to defend their turf when new controversies arise regarding public safety. It also details the complexity of scientific communication. * Library Journal * Eminently readable... Few issues have galvanized so many so quickly, and Krimsky has accomplished the difficult task of chronicling the history of this contentious idea without being drawn too far into the fray. * Issues in Science and Technology * Hormonal Chaos is a fascinating and readable account of the environmental endocrine hypothesis. -- Valery Forbes * BioScience * An interesting review of a topic that is even now rocking the foundations of toxicology and risk assessment... This book is relevant to virtually all issues that have global health, economic, and public policy implications. -- Gina M. Solomon * Chemical and Engineering News * A fascinating study of the [environmental endocrine] hypothesis and of the interface between science, media, and policy. * Booklist * In Hormonal Chaos, Krimsky lays out a clear and thorough historical analysis of the development of the environmental endocrine hypothesis (sometimes called the endocrine disruption hypothesis), and then examines the larger scientific, political, and social ramifications of it. * Archives of Sexual Behavior * Krimsky has not only successfully narrated the historical roots of the problem but has also exposed the complex social, economic, and political context of modern debates. Perhaps most impressively, Krimsky's account remains balanced and insightful without being polemical. -- Mark Jackson * History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences *

About the Author

Sheldon Krimsky is a professor in the department of urban and environmental policy at Tufts University.

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Book Info

Publication date

14th June 2002


Sheldon Krimsky, Lynn R. Goldman

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Johns Hopkins University Press


256 pages


Environmental science, engineering & technology
Social impact of environmental issues



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