Western Reads Presents: Naomi Oreskes
Thursday, April 17th, 2013
Her latest book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, details how the dangers of many issues in science have been masked by “scientific” efforts to confuse the public and our policy leaders. “Naomi Oreskes has demonstrated what many of us have long suspected: that the ‘debate’ over the climate crisis--and many other environmental issues—was manufactured by the same people who brought you ‘safe cigarettes.’ “Anyone concerned about the state of democracy in America should read her book,” claims Al Gore.
Additionally, Oreskes has, for the past 20 years, studied the process of consensus and dissent in science: How do scientists decide when a fact is “established?” How do they judge how much evidence is sufficient to deem something scientifically demonstrated? And what happens when scientists can’t agree? Her work on climate science has been widely reviewed in the media and her expertise has been called on by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and the California State Senate.
Once working herself as a geologist for a mining company in Australia, Oreskes has become a world renowned expert on the history of science. She has received the Francis Bacon Award in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and was a Teacher of the Year finalist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Recently, she also served as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was awarded the Lindgren Prize from the Society of Economic Geologists.