The latest episode of Point of Inquiry has just gone up. My guest this week is Naomi Oreskes, science historian and author (with Eric Conway) of the new book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.
Through extensive archival research, Oreskes and Conway have managed to connect the dots between a large number of seemingly separate anti-science campaigns that have unfolded over the years. It all began with Big Tobacco, and the famous internal memo declaring, “Doubt is our Product.”
Then came the attacks on the science of acid rain and ozone depletion, and the flimsy defenses of Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” program. And the same strategies have continued up to the present, with the battle over climate change.
Throughout this saga, several key scientific actors appear repeatedly—leaping across issues, fighting against the facts again and again. Now, Oreskes and Conway have given us a new and unprecedented glimpse behind the anti-science curtain.