The Republican Brain

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The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality
AuthorChris Mooney
CountryUnited States
SubjectsConservatism in the United States, Republican Party (United States), Antiscience
Publication date
Media typePrint

The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality is a 2012 book about the psychological basis for many Republicans' rejection of mainstream scientific theories, as well as theories of economics and history, by the American journalist Chris Mooney.


The Financial Times gave the book a favorable review, describing it as an "intelligent, nuanced and persuasive account" of psychological differences in political behavior.[1]

Alissa Quart, in a New York Times opinion piece, cited conservative writers Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell who equated Mooney's argument with eugenics.[2][3] It was criticized by American conservative Jonah Goldberg,[4] who tried to associate it with "conservative phrenology". Mooney responded, stating that Goldberg had mispresented his book in several respects.[5] Mooney also stated that Goldberg exhibited "precisely the traits he seeks to deny: ideological defensiveness, a lack of nuance, and a deeply unwarranted and overconfident sense of certainty".[5] Mooney later rebutted a similar criticism by Andrew Ferguson and stated that Ferguson dismissed science himself while attacking the book.[6]

Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times that Mooney makes a good point: the personality traits associated with modern conservatism, particularly a lack of openness, make the modern Republican Party hostile to the idea of objective inquiry.[7]

Publication information[edit]

Mooney, Chris (2012). The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality. Wiley. ISBN 9781118094518.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilsdon, James (28 April 2012). "Political animals". Financial Times. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
  2. ^ Quart, Alissa (23 November 2012). "Neuroscience: Under attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
  3. ^ Berezow, Alex (26 April 2012). "Are Republicans genetically inferior to Democrats?". Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  4. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (30 April 2012). "Republicans have bad brains?". USA Today (Column).
  5. ^ a b Mooney, Chris (3 May 2012). "Goldberg misunderstands Republican Brain". Letters. USA Today.
  6. ^ Mooney, Chris (14 May 2012). "The Weekly Standard slams The Republican Brain". Science Progress.
  7. ^ Krugman, Paul (19 November 2012). "Views differ on age of planet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-24.

External links[edit]