Patt Morrison for June 1, 2010

Merchants of doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming

Mercer 8179

Bloomsbury USA

How did a small group of scientists convince people that scientific truths were false?

After global warming became mainstream fodder for political debate and the Prius became the celebrity vehicle of choice, scientists joined the anti-global warming campaign, and published a handful of scientific reports about human’s effect on the Earth’s climate. But along came the spider of a well-established group of scientists, who planted the seed of doubt in the public mind about climate change. Is global warming just a liberal ploy or a made-up Hollywood phenomenon à la The Day After Tomorrow? Science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway expose the politically-rooted discord amongst scientists about global warming in their new book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Patt talks with Oreskes and Conway about this dirty, inconvenient truth and how these same scientific advisers continually distort the link between human actions and adverse environmental changes.


Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History and Science Studies, University of California, San Diego

Erik M. Conway, historian of science and technology affiliated with Caltech

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