A lively, thought-provoking book that zeros in on the timely issue of how anti-intellectualism is bad for our children and even worse for America. Why are our children so terrified to be called nerds? And what is the cost of this rising tide of anti-intellectualism to both our children and our nation? In Nerds, family psychotherapist and psychology professor David Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults wink at the derision of nerdy kids, and what we can do to prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly high-tech world. Nerds takes a measured look at how we think about and why we should rethink nerds, examining such topics as: - our anxiety about intense interest in things mechanical or technological; - the pathologizing of nerdy behavior with diagnoses such as Asperger syndrome; - the cycle of anti-nerd prejudice that took place after the Columbine incident; - why nerds are almost exclusively an American phenomenon; - the archetypal struggles of nerds and jocks in American popular culture and history; - the conformity of adolescents and why adolescent stereotypes linger into adulthood long after we should know better; and nerd cultural markers, particularly science fiction. Using education research, psychological theory, and interviews with nerdy and non-nerdy kids alike, Anderegg argues that we stand in dire need of turning around the big dumb ship of American society to prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace.