Naomi Oreskes on her latest book, Why Trust Science?
Science and Humanity Lecture Series
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Naomi Oreskes, Ph.D., professor of the history of science, Harvard University
Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when our own politicians don’t? In her latest book, Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength—and the greatest reason we can trust it.
Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She is an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and author of both scholarly and popular books and articles on the history of earth and environmental science, including The Rejection of Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth, and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. In recent decades she has been a leading voice on the issue of anthropogenic climate change. Her research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. Her 2004 essay “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” has been widely cited, both in the United States and abroad, including in the Royal Society’s publication, “A Guide to Facts and Fictions about Climate Change,” in the Academy-award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth. She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. Her most recent book Why Trust Science? was published October 2019.
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