DEC2 Naomi Oreskes (Harvard), Agnotology, Where do we go from here?

Edit: Souffrante, Naomi Oreskes n’avait pu faire le voyage jusqu’à Paris. Nous avons pu échanger un peu plus tard dans l’année, lors de la Grande Table.

Naomi Oreskes is now with the History of Science Department at Harvard University. French readers are well acquainted with Merchants of Doubt (tr Les Marchands de doute, Le Pommier, 2011) and here is a short bio:

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  She recently arrived at Harvard after spending 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Professor Oreskes’s 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” (Science 306: 1686) 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, and in Ian McEwan’s novel, Solar.  Her opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), Nature, Science, The New Statesman,Frankfurter Allgemeine and elsewhere. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global warming, co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize, and received the 2011 Watson-David Prize from the History of Science Society. (Source:

Our picks: In recent writings, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future has prompted interesting discussions in view of the workshop, as well as « Why I am a Presentist », upcoming in Science in Context. A recent column in the NYT, about nuclear energy, will be of special interest to French readers:

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