CFI-LA’s FEED YOUR BRAIN Lecture Series
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
11 a.m., Sunday, June 6
According to a recently released study from the Yale Project on Climate Change, 40 percent of Americans believe there is major scientific disagreement as to whether global warming is real. Yet, you would be hard-pressed to find any working climate scientist who didn’t think global warming is happening and has been for some time, explain science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. But ever since researchers first began examining the evidence that our planet was heating up – and that human activities were probably to blame – people have been questioning the data, doubting the evidence, and attacking the scientists who collect and explain it.
In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, the authors will explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades in several areas.
Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly; some of the same figures who claimed the science of global warming is “not settled” denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, argued that acid rain and the ozone hole was caused by volcanoes, and charged that the EPA had rigged the science surrounding secondhand smoke. Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug this dark corner of the American scientific community, and show how ideology and corporate interests have skewed public understanding and spread confusion on many of the most important issues of our time.
Oreskes is a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her study, “Beyond the Ivory Tower,” published in Science, was a milestone in the fight against global warming denial and was cited by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth. Conway is the resident historian at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech in Pasadena.
WHEN: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, June 6, 2010.
The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027
more info: 323/666-9797