Am I Normal?

Sarah Chaney


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Profile Books Ltd
13 July 2023
ISBN: 9781788162463
336 pages

From the publisher

*As heard on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour* *A Blackwell's and Waterstones Best Popular Science Book of 2022* 'Excellent ... one of those rare pop-science books that make you look at the whole world differently' The Daily Telegraph ***** 'Riveting' Mail on Sunday ***** 'Captivating' Guardian, Book of the Day 'Compelling' Observer Sarah Chaney takes us on an eye-opening and surprising journey into the history of science, revisiting the studies, landmark experiments and tests that proliferated from the early 19th century to find answers to the question: what's normal? These include a census of hallucinations - and even a UK beauty map (which claimed the women in Aberdeen were "the most repellent"). On the way she exposes many of the hangovers that are still with us from these dubious endeavours, from IQ tests to the BMI. Interrogating how the notion and science of standardisation has shaped us all, as individuals and as a society, this book challenges why we ever thought that normal might be a desirable thing to be.