New York Times: Naomi Oreskes a Lightning Rod for Science Deniers

June 16, 2015

The Times has a new profile of science historian Naomi Oreskes. Above, the complete December 2014, interview by John Cook at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

For my shorter cut, see below the fold.

New York Times:

She decided to do something no climate scientist had thought to do: count the published scientific papers. Pulling 928 of them, she was startled to find that not one dissented from the basic findings that warming was underway and human activity was the main reason.

She published that finding in a short paper in the journal Science in 2004, and the reaction was electric. Advocates of climate action seized on it as proof of a level of scientific consensus that most of them had not fully perceived. Just as suddenly, Dr. Oreskes found herself under political attack.

Some of the voices criticizing her — scientists like Dr. Singer and groups like the George C. Marshall Institute in Washington — were barely known to her at the time, Dr. Oreskes said in an interview. Just who were they?

She had connected by then with Dr. Conway, an official NASA historian who, working on his own time, helped her dig into some important archives. It did not take them long to document that this group, which included prominent Cold War scientists, had been attacking environmental research for decades, challenging the science of the ozone layer and acid rain, even the finding that breathing secondhand tobacco smoke was harmful. Trying to undermine climate science was simply the latest project.

Dr. Oreskes and Dr. Conway came to believe that the attacks were patterned on the strategy employed by the tobacco industry when evidence of health risks first emerged. Documents pried loose by lawyers showed that the industry had paid certain scientists to contrive dubious research, had intimidated reputable scientists, and had cherry-picked evidence to present a misleading picture.

Below, a shorter cut from the full length interview above.

3 Responses to “New York Times: Naomi Oreskes a Lightning Rod for Science Deniers”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    I wonder why Oreskes and Conway didn’t include “alcohol danger denial” in their studies and in Merchants of Doubt?

    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/15/8774233/alcohol-dangerous


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