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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming Cover

ISBN13: 9781596916104
ISBN10: 1596916109
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
Merchants of Doubt tells the story of 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. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly—some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

Review:

"Oreskes and Conway tell an important story about the misuse of science to mislead the public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality of global warming. The people the authors accuse in this carefully documented book are themselves scientists — mostly physicists, former cold warriors who now serve a conservative agenda, and vested interests like the tobacco industry. The authors name these scientists — all with powerful connections in government and the media — including Robert Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, and S. Fred Singer. Seven compelling chapters detail seven issues (acid rain, the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, the ozone hole, global warming, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the banning of DDT) in which this group aimed to sow seeds of public doubt on matters of settled science. They did so by casting aspersions on the science and the scientists who produce it. Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at UC — San Diego, and science writer Conway also emphasize how journalists and Internet bloggers uncritically repeat these charges. This book deserves serious attention for the lessons it provides about the misuse of science for political and commercial ends. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The authors reveal the troubling story of 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.

Synopsis:

"Merchants of Doubt should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is settled. It is, and we ignore this message at our peril."-Elizabeth Kolbert

"Brilliantly reported andwritten with brutal clarity."-Huffington Post

Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversialstory of 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. The same individuals who claim the scienceof global warming is "not settled" have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.

About the Author

Naomi Oreskes is a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her essay "Beyond the Ivory Tower" was a milestone in the fight against global warming denial.

Erik M. Conway is the resident historian at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Merchants of Doubt is their first book together.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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central coast reader, January 23, 2011 (view all comments by central coast reader)
It is important to know that scientists with 'good credentials' have placed their politics before the scientific data to gain ends that cannot be justified by the information available. It is important because we are making decisions that will effect the future of the world based on distortions if not outright falsification of data.

The depth of the research in this book appears to be good. The threads that weave to make the false impressions presented as fact were followed in detail and reported clearly.

Everyone in Congress and their staffs should read it. Likely only those who want to make good choices based on good information will do so. I hope there are politicians in both parties who want to do that.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596916104
Subtitle:
How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Press
Author:
Conway, Erik M.
Author:
Conway, Erik
Author:
Oreskes, Naomi
Subject:
Scientists -- Professional ethics.
Subject:
Democracy and science
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Business Ethics
Subject:
Philosophy & Aspects
Subject:
Science Reference-Philosophy of Science
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110524
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Reference » Science Reference » Politics of Science
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 368 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596916104 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Oreskes and Conway tell an important story about the misuse of science to mislead the public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality of global warming. The people the authors accuse in this carefully documented book are themselves scientists — mostly physicists, former cold warriors who now serve a conservative agenda, and vested interests like the tobacco industry. The authors name these scientists — all with powerful connections in government and the media — including Robert Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, and S. Fred Singer. Seven compelling chapters detail seven issues (acid rain, the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, the ozone hole, global warming, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the banning of DDT) in which this group aimed to sow seeds of public doubt on matters of settled science. They did so by casting aspersions on the science and the scientists who produce it. Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at UC — San Diego, and science writer Conway also emphasize how journalists and Internet bloggers uncritically repeat these charges. This book deserves serious attention for the lessons it provides about the misuse of science for political and commercial ends. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The authors reveal the troubling story of 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.
"Synopsis" by ,

"Merchants of Doubt should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is settled. It is, and we ignore this message at our peril."-Elizabeth Kolbert

"Brilliantly reported andwritten with brutal clarity."-Huffington Post

Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversialstory of 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. The same individuals who claim the scienceof global warming is "not settled" have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.

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