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Merchants Of Doubt


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Merchants Of Doubt

Es kann keine Wissenschaft ohne Zweifel geben. Strenge Dogmen lassen keinen Raum für Fragestellungen. Aber im Laufe des letzten halben Jahrhunderts. Merchants of Doubt, ist ein in Englisch erschienenes Sachbuch der amerikanischen Wissenschaftshistoriker Naomi Oreskes und Erik M. Conway, das die organisierte Wissenschaftsleugnung zum Thema hat. Thalia: Infos zu Autor, Inhalt und Bewertungen ❤ Jetzt»Merchants of Doubt«nach Hause oder Ihre Filiale vor Ort bestellen!

Merchants Of Doubt Bloomsbury Trade

Merchants of Doubt, ist ein in Englisch erschienenes Sachbuch der amerikanischen Wissenschaftshistoriker Naomi Oreskes und Erik M. Conway, das die organisierte Wissenschaftsleugnung zum Thema hat. Merchants of Doubt, (voller Titel: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming) ist ein. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming | Conway, Erik M., Oreskes, Naomi. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change: How a Handful of Scientists Issues. Thalia: Infos zu Autor, Inhalt und Bewertungen ❤ Jetzt»Merchants of Doubt«nach Hause oder Ihre Filiale vor Ort bestellen! Merchants of Doubt von Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway - Englische Bücher zum Genre Religion & Theologie günstig & portofrei bestellen im Online Shop von. Merchants of Doubt von Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway - Englische Bücher zum Genre Naturwissenschaften allgemein günstig & portofrei bestellen im Online.

Merchants Of Doubt

Merchants of Doubt, (voller Titel: Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming) ist ein. Es kann keine Wissenschaft ohne Zweifel geben. Strenge Dogmen lassen keinen Raum für Fragestellungen. Aber im Laufe des letzten halben Jahrhunderts. Merchants of Doubt von Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway - Englische Bücher zum Genre Naturwissenschaften allgemein günstig & portofrei bestellen im Online. Schenken Geschenkkarte Online-Gutschein. Millionen Dollar wurden Serie Friends, um den Eindruck einer wissenschaftlichen Kontroverse zu erzeugen, die nicht bestand. Ihr Warenkorb ist leer. Bitte melden Sie sich an, um eine Rückmeldung zu geben. Merchants of Doubt was one of Das Imperium Schlägt Zurück Rollen most talked-about climate change books of recent years! Ralf Herbold. Bloomsbury Trade. This led me to finally read Oreskes and Conway's book, which I first put on my mental "to read" pile a decade ago. The subtitle really says it all; "How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming". Fred Singer 2. View all comments. Self as Fred Walter Lehnertz Frau. Although science denialists may win a few of their battles against the truth, reality will ultimately win the war. How did it take so long for the news to reach the consumer? I believe this book AinT be read by all intelligent Streaming Nude who care Fuck Ju Göthe science and about the future of our world. Merchants Of Doubt Dale Jamieson bezeichnet Merchants of Doubt als Pflichtlektüre. Steven Shapin. Erik The Guest Stream. Es kann keine Wissenschaft ohne Zweifel geben. Conway 0 Sterne. Bitte melden Sie sich an, um Produkte in Ihre Merkliste hinzuzufügen. Merchants Of Doubt

Merchants Of Doubt - Inhaltsverzeichnis

Diese empfinde er als zu stark betont, während z. Naomi Oreskes. Die wichtigste Schlussfolgerung des Buches ist, dass es ohne den Einfluss der falschen "Experten" mehr Fortschritte in der Politikgestaltung in den oben genannten Bereichen gegeben hätte. Merchants Of Doubt The U. Der Artikel wurde dem Warenkorb hinzugefügt. So gebe es z. Bitte melden Sie sich an, um eine Rückmeldung zu geben. Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Frederic Lau haben bereits bei einem früheren Besuch Artikel in Ihren Kriener Ulrike gelegt. Es gebe viele Gründe, dieses Buch zu lesen, aber der wichtigste für Ökologen und Politiker sei wahrscheinlich, sich klarzumachen, wie schwierig es sei politische Veränderungen The Monkey King 2014 Stream German Umweltbereich zu erzielen, selbst dann, wenn die wissenschaftliche Datenlage völlig eindeutig sei. Diese "Tabakstrategie" funktionierte so gut, dass Clare Danes sie seither bei zahlreichen weiteren gesundheits- und umweltpolitischen Debatten anwendeten.

Merchants Of Doubt Beschreibung

Ihr Warenkorb Zombis Filmek leer. Die wissenschaftliche Revolution Steven Shapin 0 Sterne. Exploration and Engineering Erik M. Andere Kunden interessierten sich auch für. Shrier 0 Sterne. Dabei hätten sie sich in zahlreichen Debatten als Experten ausgegeben, um eine "alternative Meinung" zu den tatsächlichen Aussagen der jeweiligen Fachwissenschaftler bieten, die problematisch für bestimmte Industrien waren, von denen sie unterstützt wurden oder die politischen Ansichten ihrer Unterstützer gefährdeten. Es kann keine Wissenschaft ohne Zweifel geben. Strenge Dogmen lassen keinen Raum für Fragestellungen. Aber im Laufe des letzten halben Jahrhunderts. Jetzt online bestellen! Heimlieferung oder in Filiale: Summary: Merchants of Doubt Review and Analysis of Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway's Book von. Naomi Oreskes und Erik M. Conway: Merchants of Doubt Bild: Unter ernstzunehmenden Klimawissenschaftlern ist der Wandel bewiesen. Bücher bei appaloosareining.eu: Jetzt Merchants Of Doubt von Naomi Oreskes versandkostenfrei online kaufen bei appaloosareining.eu, Ihrem Bücher-Spezialisten!

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Of course, the very fact that the same few names keep cropping up again and again, in radically different contexts, is enough to raise a few eyebrows as to whether we are dealing with real scientific opposition or some kind of conspiracy.

Admittedly, it may well be that the authors overemphasize somewhat these few main characters so as to make the contrarian community seem smaller than it really is; however, they do not seem to be incorrect in assigning a leading role to these figures.

How many solid-state physicists, after all, can claim to be experts on oncology, the effect of acidity on ecosystems, and the distribution of heat in the earth's atmosphere?

And indeed, part of the burden of the book is to show how just a few well-connected, sufficiently outspoken, and somewhat unscrupulous scientists can create the illusion of a whole community of scientific dissent.

They note how a credulous and naive media and public is often willing to credit the testimony of any leading scientist as a relevant expert, even if his expertise is in another field entirely, as if an expert plumber could settle a controversy on the best way to construct the roof, just because he's involved in the homebuilding industry.

Why is it that these physicists should be so determined to attack environmental concern wherever it should arise? It is here that Conway and Oreskes are at their best, subtly and insightfully introducing us to the Cold War mindset that drove these men.

They were all formed within that black-and-white view of the world, capitalism vs. And for them, as for so many hawks of that era, superior technological innovation was the means by which freedom would triumph.

Seitz and Nierenberg both got their start working on the Manhattan Project, and were heavily involved in subsequent weapons-development research in the early Cold War, as was Singer.

Not only did this early work help set their ideological trajectory in a hard-right direction, but it also catapulted them to positions of remarkable political influence, which they maintained.

Oreskes and Conway wish to leave us in no doubt that when it comes to the charge that our politicians are being manipulated by influential insider climate change alarmists, the shoe is most definitely on the other foot.

Since most of the rising concerns about the harmful effects of certain industries on health and environment necessarily implied the need for government regulation of those industries, men like Seitz, Singer, and Nierenberg thought they spotted a Red agenda at the heart of the Green movement.

Dedicated as they were to the freedom of capitalist industry and to a confidence that technology was our savior, they bitterly resisted the implications that capitalist industrial technology might be harming the planet and might call for government intervention.

In the Reagan era, such convictions easily won the day on issues such as acid rain, whatever the vast majority of the scientific community might say, and those who held them gained established footholds of influence.

Conway and Oreskes also draw close attention to the strategy behind all this anti-environmental science. The objective, most of the time, has not been to directly deny the various claims of harm being advanced.

The tobacco industry spent little time trying to prove that smoking was fine for you, and Singer and Nierenberg did not try to claim that acid rain was harmless.

Rather, their product was doubt. The point was always to persuade the public that, yes, there might be a problem, but there was so much we didn't know that we couldn't be quite sure what its origin was, how serious it was, and what the best solution might be.

The downsides of our current course, then, were uncertain. Accompanying this was the argument that the upsides of our current course were obvious, or the downsides to changing our present course were quite clear and certain, and certain to be serious.

As a delaying tactic, this argument served the tobacco industry astonishingly well. Would-be smokers could be reassured that, although they couldn't be sure one way or another of the science surrounding the safety of cigarettes, at least they could be sure that they really enjoyed smoking them, and it was probably worth a little risk.

Juries could be persuaded, for more than forty years after the extremely carcinogenic effects of smoking had been scientifically demonstrated, that there was still enough uncertainty to render the tobacco companies legally immune.

Again, Conway and Oreskes insightfully show how psychology can lead us astray here. We tend to fall prey to short-term thinking, willing to face future risks for the sake of present enjoyment, and disposed to always prefer the known what we are already doing to the unknown any proposed change , assessing the latter as riskier than the former, even when the evidence clearly suggests otherwise.

Many of the contrarian scientists described in this book were clearly driven by this kind of thinking, particularly those with a particular interest in economics.

The economic costs of environmental protection, they felt, were so high as to outweigh the evidence of future harms.

These psychological tendencies are if anything even more true on the social level than the individual. What this means is that anyone claiming that we must stop the enjoyable things we are doing in order to avert future or unseen calamities, and must start ordering our lives in different ways, has to meet a very high burden of proof indeed to be listened to.

Our political leaders, who are supposed to take the future into account and thus make these difficult decisions for us, are unfortunately just as much the slaves of short-term thinking.

Economic growth in the present, not environmental protection in the future, is what is likely to win them their next election.

The merchants of doubt, then, have a comparatively easy task. All they have to show is that there is enough uncertainty in the science that perhaps we had better sit back and wait for more evidence before committing ourselves to a costly change of direction, or, heaven forbid, sacrificing our freedom to government bureaucrats.

Unfortunately, it is extraordinarily easy to prove uncertainty in the science, because all science is always uncertain.

Conway and Oreskes are refreshingly upfront about this, and criticize the outdated positivistic view of science that imagines that science "proves" facts with logical certainty.

Even when the basic facts are well-established though never absolutely proven , there exist all sorts of details that still need to be worked out, and ongoing scientific work will of course be dedicated toward investigating these remaining areas of uncertainty.

Anyone with a dedicated agenda of skepticism, then, will have no difficulty in finding evidence of uncertainty and debate in the current scientific literature, even when there is a firmly established consensus about the key points.

Moreover, given that the front lines of scientific work are so far beyond the ken of the average citizen, it is easy for him to be duped into treating as equally authoritative the testimony of popularizers and think tanks with some kind of scientific credentials.

When we look at this cacophony of voices and see evidence of widespread disagreement, we shrug our shoulders and say, "Who are we to believe?

Conway and Oreskes suggest some answers in their epilogue, pointing out how many areas of our day-to-day in which we recognize the need to trust experts and act on their advice, despite the inevitable uncertainty.

They conclude "So it comes to this: we must trust our scientific experts on matters of science, because there isn't a workable alternative.

And because scientists are not in most cases licensed, we need to pay attention to who the experts actually are—by asking questions about their credentials, their past and current research, the venues in which they are subjecting their claims to scrutiny, and the sources of financial support they are receiving.

If the scientific community has been asked to judge a matter. Sensible decision making involves acting on the information we have, even while accepting that it may well be imperfect and our decisions may need to be revisited and revised in light of new information.

For even if modern science does not give us certainty, it does have a robust track record. Scientists have no special purchase on moral or ethical decisions; a climate scientist is no more qualified to comment on health care reform than a physicist is to judge the causes of bee colony collapse.

The very fathers that create expertise in a specialized domain lead to ignorance in many others. So our trust needs to be circumscribed, and focused.

It needs to be very particular. Blind trust will get us into at least as much trouble as no trust at all. But without some degree of trust in our designated experts.

Snow once argued that foolish faith in authority is the enemy of truth. But so is a foolish cynicism. We close with the comments of S.

Green, director of research for British American Tobacco, who decided, finally, that what his industry had done was wrong, not just morally, but also intellectually: 'A demand for scientific proof is always a formula for inaction and delay, and usually the first reaction of the guilty.

The proper basis for such decisions is, of course, quite simply that which is reasonable in the circumstances. In fact, they always are, for economic projections about the future perhaps the most frequent basis for public policy are at least as uncertain as scientific ones.

If the consequences of inaction appear sufficiently serious and probable, the prudent ruler and the prudent society will begin to undertake corrective action even while acknowledging the possibility that subsequent research will reveal such action unnecessary; better safe than sorry.

My one major misgiving about the book: despite their attempts to demystify the scientific enterprise, and acknowledge that it is human, all too human, not blessed with some special gift of infallibility, it is hard not to feel that the authors continue to speak of "the halls of science" in somewhat reverential tones.

Scientists are repeatedly eulogized as pure uncorrupt seekers after truth, even while a few contrarian scientists are shown to be quite the opposite.

But of course, if Seitz, Singer, Nierenberg, and others could let their ideology and the interests of their benefactors get in the way of doing honest and objective science, who's to say that most other scientists are immune to this.

Conway and Oreskes do enough to suggest, I think, that the accusations that climate alarmists are acting out of self-interest or political ideology are a case of the pot calling the kettle black; however, that doesn't mean that the kettle may not be black as well.

I have no doubt that most climate scientists are conscientious researchers who do their utmost to be objective and avoid unnecessary alarmism.

But not all, and not always. The authors always speak of "peer review" the same way that Catholics speak of "Our Holy Father," and it irks me just the same way.

Peer review is certainly better than the lack thereof, but it's no magic epistemological bullet. Scientists, like anyone else, are subject to the herd instinct, to confirmation bias, and sometimes to something as prosaic as mere laziness.

After just a couple years in academia, I have seen enough of the failings of the peer review process in theological studies to be skeptical that it could work as perfectly in scientific studies as many seem to think.

So pardon me for still being something of a skeptic about the reliability of mainstream scientific opinion at any given time.

That said, I concede the overall point Conway and Oreskes are trying to make—you can't refuse to act just because there will always be grounds for skepticism.

Mainstream science may be riddled with errors, but when the stakes are high enough, you've got to make decisions based on the best resources available to you, and until God deigns to issue an oracle telling us the truth about climate change and the best solution to it, we'd best pay attention to the scientists.

Feb 18, Tim O'Neill rated it it was amazing Shelves: politics. This Australian summer's bushfire catastrophe brought with it a deluge of climate change denialism in the press, on some TV commentary, from certain politicians with a lot of weasel words from others and, particularly, on social media.

Long debunked claims, distorted misinformation, cherry picked data and error-laden memes were spread far and wide, supposedly "debunking" the expert assessment that the unprecedented fires and attendant drought were substantially driven by climate change.

My fru This Australian summer's bushfire catastrophe brought with it a deluge of climate change denialism in the press, on some TV commentary, from certain politicians with a lot of weasel words from others and, particularly, on social media.

My frustration at seeing this nonsense being pushed by bot armies, full time contrarians and culture warriors and, in many cases, accepted uncritically by far too many Australians motivated me to start tracing back where these arguments came from and the origin and source of climate denialism in the face of the scientific consensus.

This led me to finally read Oreskes and Conway's book, which I first put on my mental "to read" pile a decade ago. With meticulous care, the authors use their skills as historians and archival researchers to uncover the decades long history of not just climate change denial, but a whole interconnected anti-science campaign by political ideologues determined to defend unregulated business practices and laissez-faire capitalism at any cost.

The power of this ideology is such that what has become a virtual crusade against science itself has been, ironically, substantially driven by a few contrarian scientists with a political agenda.

The authors show that the tactics used today by climate change deniers were developed and honed in previous skirmishes between these laissez-faire capitalist fundamentalists and scientific reality.

Beginning with the tobacco lobby's attempts to stall any restrictions on their industry in the face of a clear consensus on the deadly effects of tobacco in the s, the authors show that exactly the same tactics were used to dispute the effects of DDT, deny the causes of acid rain and obfuscate the origin of the hole in the Ozone Layer.

Not only this, but they show that it was often the same contrarian ideologues in the scientific sphere who drove each of these campaigns of misinformation or eagerly lent their reputations usually in unrelated scientific fields to their cause.

Over and over again the same names come up - Robert Jastrow, Fred Seitz, William Nierenberg and Fred Singer - who along with some lesser fellow travellers, spent decades creating an illusion of doubt on these subjects, bamboozling the media into thinking there was good reason not to act in any way that might restrict big businesses' capacity to make profits at the expense of human health, well-being and the environment.

The way these fanatics manipulated the media's obsession with "showing both sides" and the reason this "balance" idea doesn't work when it comes to science is a key theme in the book.

What is depressing is that in the ten years since its publication, the media has not become much smarter on science issues and, unfortunately, scientists have not become much better at beating the contrarians by presenting the real story.

But the most interesting element for me was the historical roots of the ideology that drives denialism to this day - the Cold War obsession with anything remotely like Communism, leading to a blind and wrongheaded embrace of its equally irrational and purely ideological polar opposite: the idea that untrammelled business and industry will inevitably produce the greatest possible good.

The book shows that climate change denial is the latest and biggest lie in a sequence of lies that are driven by a poisonous ideology, funded by greedy plutocrats and their political creatures.

Nothing much has changed, though events like the Australian bushfires are perhaps starting to make more people realise that the things we were warned about are now happening.

This excellent book is a classic example of how understanding the past can help us understand the present and shape the future. By seeing how this toxic ideology arose and how its tactics developed, we may have some chance of fighting it before it's too late.

Apr 20, Nandakishore Varma marked it as to-read Shelves: science. On another internet forum I used to frequent, there was a hot argument whether science was "good" or "bad".

Two or three members were convinced about the inherent "badness" of science - they were great believers in metaphysics and spirituality.

Another member and I were arguing for the inherent value neutrality of science. There was one guy who was pro-science, but vehemently against value-neutrality.

He argued that science, unless inherently coupled with ethics, is bad. While I appreciated this On another internet forum I used to frequent, there was a hot argument whether science was "good" or "bad".

While I appreciated this as a political position, I was highly sceptical about its practicality. Reading about this book, however, bought home to me the fact that science has got an intrinsic value - it has to be the search for truth.

The scientist has to be committed to it. Otherwise, it means that the scientist has sold his soul to the devil I mean, corporate interests.

Jul 04, Stuart rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Environmentalists, science policy types. I'm giving this book an extra half star because I know one of the authors and I can read between the lines and see that her contributions are more circumspect and better thought out than the compromised version that ended up in this book.

Merchants of Doubt is about the misuse of science by politicians. It's a very good, methodically researched introduction to how science gets twisted in the political process.

Where this book loses credibility, however, is that it shows only one side of the stor I'm giving this book an extra half star because I know one of the authors and I can read between the lines and see that her contributions are more circumspect and better thought out than the compromised version that ended up in this book.

Where this book loses credibility, however, is that it shows only one side of the story: the misuse of science by conservative politicians aided by conservative scientists.

It happens on the other side as well. Don't believe me? Here's an example. Obama has publicly made claims that the safety of the site is not supported by the science.

Actually, the science shows it to be a good site. The start of the entire "Yucca Mountain is bad" movement began with a long tome filled with theories that defied basic physics written by a single DOE employee.

Environmentalists and Nevadans championed this tome. They became, using the title of this book, merchants of doubt. The best part of the book are the naked facts, most of which it gets right with wonderful detail.

The worst part of the book is the venom and cattiness. The book overplays its hand again and again and tries to simplify in order to make what amounts to character assassinations about those it doesn't like.

Some of these people died many years ago and of course, can't rebut the claims made. Some of the claims are inconsistent. Cheap foreshadowing is used - how these people supposedly act or look or talk - to make these people seem sinister.

Just because someone has a different point of view does not make them inherently evil. Just because someone agrees with you does not make them a messiah incarnate.

The book makes the claim that the same Cold War conservative warriors show up again and again to fight sound science related to environmental issues.

That's not really true. It's certainly not the same people every time. Some die along the way. Others were children when this cabal supposedly started.

Edward Teller fought for SDI, yes, but he wasn't involved in acid rain, second hand smoke, or global warming issues. Even the characterization of Reagan's motivation for SDI is given a sinister edge; the authors needed to do some more research on that end.

In short there is a consistent and I believe ill conceived attempt to connect many many dots - some far apart, some close - together. The examples aren't all pertinent and some run counter to the thesis - acid rain legislation was actually passed under a Republican administration as was the Montreal protocol - of this book.

Science is misused by politicians all the time. The trick of finding one scientist - qualified or not - to cast doubt on scientific consensus isn't something that just takes place with Republicans.

Democrats do the same thing. This book, which has some excellent examples of this trick, would be far, far better if it shed its liberal bias and agenda - put aside the demonizing and paranoia - and just stuck to the facts.

If you can get past all the venom and the looking at the world through a very liberal, environmentalist filter, there is a lot of wonderful material in this book.

I don't think many people have that ability. There is another flaw in this book that I will only cursorily mention. In order to try to strengthen its arguments, it puts far too much faith in the value of environmental models and peer review.

Models are highly flawed things. So is peer review. At times, the approach of the authors in extolling peer review sounds eerily like the language free marketeers use when discussing the "invisible hand" that supposedly corrects the economy.

I only wish peer review and even scientific consensus were as rational as the authors' claim. View all 3 comments.

Dec 23, Erwin rated it did not like it. Bottom line: - the masses are easy to manipulate - science, just like intelligence CIA has become a political tool - political "scientists" on behalf of some business lobbies have sewn seeds of doubt - the doubt is enough to confuse the mass media, and thereby the masses - doubt is always in the interest of the status quo, because doubt prevents action and change This could have been a single page news article.

No need to write a book, unless the scope is expanded, or some more interesting facts so Bottom line: - the masses are easy to manipulate - science, just like intelligence CIA has become a political tool - political "scientists" on behalf of some business lobbies have sewn seeds of doubt - the doubt is enough to confuse the mass media, and thereby the masses - doubt is always in the interest of the status quo, because doubt prevents action and change This could have been a single page news article.

No need to write a book, unless the scope is expanded, or some more interesting facts something that challenges our world view can be located.

Lots of minutiae. I'm detail oriented, but the magnitude of the details is simply not surprising, yet the quantity of details was very boring.

Not sure who the target audience is for this. Probably written for scientists to criticize the "bad scientists" that "sold out" to corporate lobbies.

Mar 25, Darian Onaciu rated it really liked it. Excellent book about how certain corporations manipulated public opinion through different means and discredited the work of legitimate scientists because it went against the economic interests of the conglomerates.

The writing is clear and concise, the arguments crisp and the tone is inquisitive and analytical. The authors take in the whole problem, analyze it and then highlight the involvement of each party, drawing a conclusion based on all the available evidence.

If you're interested about how Excellent book about how certain corporations manipulated public opinion through different means and discredited the work of legitimate scientists because it went against the economic interests of the conglomerates.

If you're interested about how science in general is done or in how it sometimes collides with private interests, this book is for you.

Jun 24, Book rated it it was amazing Shelves: science , politics-economics. Conway "Merchants of Doubt" is a fascinating book that tells the upsetting story of how a small power-group of conservative scientists ran destructive campaigns to mislead the public about science.

The book provides a number of fascinating cases that has a direct impact on the public. This page book is composed of the following seven chapters: 1.

Marshall Institute, 3. Sowing the Seeds of Doubt: Acid Rain, 4. The Fight over Secondhand Smoke, 6. He Denial of Global Warming, and7.

A well-written, well-researched book for the masses. Great science writing. Fascinating, jaw-dropping expose of some of the scoundrels behind the misinformation machine.

Meticulously researched book that provides compelling evidence in support of the main thesis. The tactics used behind the willful dissemination of false science in the service of politics and profits.

Fascinating cases exposed with a luxury of details. An excellent introduction that establishes the foundation of this excellent book.

The history of how the tobacco industry fought to deflect attention from the fact that tobacco caused cancer. The strategies used by culpable industries.

Some very dirty tactics indeed. The myth that scientists would do anything for funding is resoundingly debunked with the missile defense research program.

The fascinating look at the nuclear winter debate. Great use of science throughout book. Well supported arguments.

How politics can get in the way of the facts. How science works. The importance of peer reviews. Scathing criticism, "scientific claims were being published in scientific journals, where only scientists would read them, but unscientific claims were being published in the mass media".

CFCs, acid rain and the ozone hole The emergence of think tanks created with the sole purpose of discrediting science. A must-read chapter on global warming.

The story behind pesticide use. How bugs and bacteria provide the best evidence we have of natural selection. Great use of links.

Extensive notes section that supports how well-researched this book truly is. Negatives: 1. Be prepared to get upset. This book is an expose that will make your blood rise.

Conservatives will call foul but the facts don't cease to exist because you ignore them. Having to wait for this duo's next masterpiece. In summary, a fantastic eye-opening expose of grand proportions.

This book earns your trust by providing arguments supported by copious amounts of quality research and sound science.

It's a devastating and thought-provoking book on how the power elite create pseudo science organizations to undermine real science at the expense of the public.

I can't recommend this book enough Further reading: "Science under Siege Jun 13, Todd Martin rated it really liked it. The tactic was to sow doubt and to foment uncertainty about the science as a means to prevent regulatory action.

And it worked. Why is this approach so successful? Part of the answer lies in the public misunderstanding of science; what it is, and how it works. Science in particular, science of emerging issues is not a collection of proven facts, it is a body of knowledge that provides a better understanding of the world as the evidence accumulates.

There is always more to learn about any topic, but this not a reason to conclude that action should not be taken in the absence of certainty.

We do things every day in our lives based on the best evidence available, even if it is incomplete. A simple example would be choosing whether to purchase a piece of fruit.

We use the data generated by sight, smell and touch to estimate the likelihood that the fruit is good and determine whether to buy it based on this evidence which is anything but definitive.

The anti-regulatory lobby takes advantage of the uncertainty that is present in each scientific discussion to argue against taking action.

Oreskes illustrates the history of this obfuscation using the examples of tobacco smoke, acid rain, ozone depletion, and second hand smoke as well as the current hot button issue of global warming.

While is not surprising that the same arguments are recycled again and again as excuses for inaction, what is surprising is that it is often the very same people and institutions that are making them.

Not surprisingly, it is ideology rather than the desire for good public policy that motivates these groups. They tend to be right-wing, free market fundamentalists who see government regulations of industries and practices that harm the public as a descent into Communism.

While you may or may not agree with their ideology, their willingness to resort to deception, obfuscation, misdirection and outright falsehoods to further their agenda is something every truth-loving citizen should consider offensive.

Unfortunately, given a public that is largely scientifically illiterate and unused to critical thinking, this strategy will continue to bear fruit and it is the rest of us that will pay the price.

Jun 07, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , favorites , 5-stars. This is a heavy book with a lot of facts and proof to back it up that everyone should read.

It is then sold to the American public as fact. All of these things that the American people have been duped into believing is wrong. All of this because certain scientists were hired bought to cause "doubt" among the science.

Good job…they have made Americans seem really stupid. It took 5 years for the authors to write this book and provide the facts to back it up.

This is one everyone should read…just so we question everything we are told. And even when a "scientist" says it we still need to check the background of "that" scientist and also make sure that the things they say went through a Peer Review for All Science and we just didn't hear about it on TV or from a magazine, or newspaper.

Jun 15, Carly Friedman rated it it was ok Shelves: nfbc-brs-and-botms , just-couldn-t-finish , nonfiction-goal , because-science. I could not finish this book.

I struggled through four boring, tedious chapters before giving up. The premise was interesting but the content was disappointing.

Each chapter focused on how an industry or governmental group was influenced by a few biased scientists and therefore ignored or discounted good research on the topic.

The minutiae of the different people and their affiliations got in the way of the bigger picture.

Shelves: history. A few years ago a diverse group of right-wingers affiliated with a variety of conservative and 'libertarian' think-tanks, corporations, foundations and publications attempted the take-over of America's sole liberal 'great books' school, Shimer College.

Shimer is a small institution, but its charter, dating to the midth century, is priceless and the whole notion of 'the Great Books' has traditionally attracted idealogues of the Right.

Under two presidents, Rice and Lindsay, both arising from R A few years ago a diverse group of right-wingers affiliated with a variety of conservative and 'libertarian' think-tanks, corporations, foundations and publications attempted the take-over of America's sole liberal 'great books' school, Shimer College.

Fortunately, the pattern was discerned, the plot exposed and publicized. The college was saved by a one vote margin in the board.

Many of the same players figure prominently in this book about the ongoing efforts of what its authors call 'free market fundamentalists' to fight environmental science, ostensibly seen by them as a form of creeping socialism.

Coincidentally, but unsurprisingly, such insights are often actually motivated by large sums provided by the corporations facing regulation, corporations such as the tobacco industries and the energy companies.

Here in Chicago, home of Shimer College, the most notorious of these institutional mercenaries is The Heartland Foundation, the major funders of which are the self-same tobacco and energy corporations for whom the foundation publishes materials supporting smoking, attacking climate change science and those who worry about such things as second-hand smoke, acid rain, ozone depletion, radiation and the like.

Oct 14, Lauren rated it it was amazing. Contained within its pages is a careful analysis of how a handful of corporations and scientists distorted public understanding for their own narrow purposes.

The book is meticulously researched while also being appropriately simplified, given the wide range of material covered. I do wish the book had more explicitly pointed out the cost to the environment and human health caused by stirring up unnecessary doubt, especially on more settled issues such as smoking.

But those are very minor quibbles to what is an otherwise top-notch book. Highly recommended. Rigorous and serious, passionate and informative; one of the most important books of the 21st century.

It is not an easy read but a book that must be read nonetheless. Jul 29, Kevin rated it really liked it Shelves: environment-climate-change , 1-how-the-world-works , 3c-reread , critique-propaganda.

The Good : --I vaguely remember the documentary adaptation; this book is far more memorable. The Bad, or rather suggestions : --Rigorous accounting naming names and tracing the various shenanigans surely has its place.

However, I do wonder the target audience. The summary parts were helpful. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky 2 Understanding the scientific method: why we bother with it instead of relying on heuristics.

Bad Science 3 Understanding capitalism: how did we come to be swept up by the global commodity chain, labor market, and debt.

A scientific theory cannot be reduced to two lines and explain the subject matter without bias. But a doubt can dismantle the very same theory in just a few words.

Science has always been at war - sometimes it challenges the ideology of the masses and in more recent years, it impacts profits of large organizations.

Scientific history becomes important in this context to be documented and well circulated. The propaganda isn't against science, at least not always.

The propaganda attacks the way a s A scientific theory cannot be reduced to two lines and explain the subject matter without bias. The propaganda attacks the way a scientific theory is presented, the narration it takes, and that becomes enough for those with limited to basic knowledge to question the actual theory.

Be it tobacco industry, auto industry, agriculture - there is always the other side that persists in denying effects of excess use of CFC, harmful chemicals used to protect crops, tobacco etc.

The studies on these subject matters start as theories and observations which get peer reviewed, subject to discussions in international platforms and either gets a nod or flat out dismissal.

The theories that stem from lobbying and propaganda don't always take this route. They enlist PR firms, lobbyists, journalists, media entities, politicians and even scientists.

What started in s in boardrooms and newspapers are now familiar mantra during political campaigns. In this day and age we have people saying "I believe in science".

Science isn't a religion that warrants faith. Its based on proof; it gets accepted or rejected based on peer evaluation.

It acknowledges the probability of being wrong with advancements in knowledge. But it doesn't mean you don't act upon or take precautions to the warning it currently poses.

Not just scientists but all of us, as human race, are obligated towards ethical and moral decisions. It is in human nature to defy that to pursue a profit, a political or business agenda.

Scientists are no exception to that. All we have to remember that our actions have direct consequences. One day it will blow up in our faces.

Apr 22, Michael Burnam-Fink rated it it was amazing Shelves: sts , Merchants of Doubt reads like a case presented by the prosecution.

Oreskes and Conway look at several late 20th century scientific controversies: the link between cigarettes and cancer; the risks of nuclear weapon, the damage done by acid rain, CFCs and the ozone layer, and above all climate change, to find that these controversies extend far beyond the limits of reasonable doubt.

This is no accident, but rather the result of a deliberate public relations strategy formulated by a small group of Merchants of Doubt reads like a case presented by the prosecution.

This is no accident, but rather the result of a deliberate public relations strategy formulated by a small group of Cold War physics, propagated by a network of conservative think tanks, and funded by companies with a business model that creates threats to human life.

All of them parleyed real scientific work around the Manhattan Project and the early Cold War into political positions connected with the Republican party.

In the mid 60s, as the dangers of smoking became apparent, the tobacco industry began supporting scientific research to create a bench of trial experts to cast doubt on the link between cigarettes and cancer.

Seitz, Nierenberg, and Jastrow founded the staunchly freemarket George C. Marshall Institute in to provide structure for for their work.

Singer was loosely affiliated with the network. The charges are serious enough, and timeline involved complex enough, that I'll leave the details to the book.

Whatever the nature of the debate and the connection between science and policy, the goal was always to inhibit regulatory action by the government, and the playbook almost identical.

The Merchants of Doubt playbook is not laid out in the text, so I'll do it here: Step 1 is Developing the Controversy: This begins innocently enough with emerging scientific issue of regulatory significant and locating legitimate uncertainties.

Science is always incomplete, and particularly in early stages models may be crude approximations with unclear causal mechanisms. But rather than contributing actual work, the scientific CVs of the merchants are notably thin post criticize the science for lack of realism and certainty, without offering testable hypotheses of your own.

Extend personal uncertainty to willful density. Hold up official government reports through bureaucratic delays and denying consensus. Step 2 is to Launder the Controversy: Demand equal time for "your side" to a news media that lacks the time or expertise to check the validity of both sides, and knows that a story headlined "scientists argue" is more interesting than "scientists say".

Launder your own credentials in an unrelated field to present yourself as an expert on whatever is required beyond all standards of professionalism.

A scientist might master two fields, but cannot master the details of physics, atmospheric modeling, epidemiology, forest ecology, and so on.

Develop press materials which mimic scientific articles in style and format, but have not passed review. Present glowing assessments of your position in friendly media like The Wall Street Journal.

Step 3 is to Amplify the Controversy: Make sure everybody, not just friendly venues, sees the conflict. Get politicians and media figures to present your views as fact.

Accuse your opponents of politicizing science and scientific misconduct. Attack, slander, and when necessary, lie. Cast attacks on your own evidence and backing as censorship akin to that suffered by Galileo.

The end goal is to make the controversy the story, leaving doubt in the public mind long after the science has settled.

I believe that Oreskes and Conway's case, as presented, is bulletproof. The titular merchants of doubt systematically violated scientific norms out of an ideological commitment that any sin was valid in pursuit of their political goal.

They accused the scientific community of tampering with evidence and ideological bias, two acts which they were consistently and shamelessly guilty of.

The end of this book, where Oreskes lays out the motives of these scientific antagonists, is not as strong.

She describe an ideological journey, where Cold War anti-communists came to believe that anything was permissible in defense of American liberty.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, they made the errors of identifying Free Market Fundamentalism as the only economic system compatible with American democracy, and environmentalist sentiment of all sorts as the new communism.

Rather than a blind faith in the efficiency, justice, and wisdom of markets, environmentalism recognizes many market failures of externalities, imperfect information, and various kinds of monopolies and technological lock-in.

The ultimate logic of environmentalism is simple: The freedom to pollute cannot indefinitely stand above ecosystem integrity and human life. It's opponents would rather commit mass suicide than stop believing this.

Merchants of Doubt is not a scholarly book, despite exhaustive research and footnotes. The authors include a chapter on Rachel Carson and the posthumous attack on Silent Spring because I believe Oreskes sees Carson as role model.

Silence Spring wasn't strictly science either; it was a case prepared for public opinion, and one the launched the modern environmental movement.

The point of both Silent Spring and Merchants of Doubt was to launch a movement. As I write this review, on the day of the first March for Science, that movement is ever more necessary.

We live in a world trending towards Step 4, a nihilistic universal skepticism that expertise is even possible, that's there's anything other hidden motives and a desire for power in claims of scientific authority.

Oreskes and Conway argue that we can't do our own science, that at a certain point there must be faith in the integrity of what's presented, because no-one can understand the full extent of the network that is activated in making a scientific claim.

This may be correct, but it's also unsatisfying. The tactics developed by the merchants of doubt are a near perfect psuedo-science, carrying all the epistemic markers of scientific validity while containing a deadly poison of social paralysis.

In this moment of Trumpian "alternative facts", we need to do more than push back against doubt, we need to make producing it a marker of perfidy, partaking in it a road to self-destruction rather than further prestige.

I don't yet know how to do that, but Merchants of Doubt precisely lays out the cause of our present troubles. Jun 10, Mike rated it liked it Shelves: read-in , non-fiction , women-authors.

A decent book although as soon as you've read the title you 'get it' so kinda why bother. Still, a useful and forensic look at how a few shills hopped around from the tobacco industry to global warming denial promoting the 'teach the controversy' message.

As long as the debate is kept alive, action is stymied and more people believe lies about second hand smoke or carbon emissions.

Interesting just how few people were at the core of these projects. Merchants of Doubt helped me think about how co A decent book although as soon as you've read the title you 'get it' so kinda why bother.

Merchants of Doubt helped me think about how consent is managed in liberal democracies, though far from provides an answer to this.

The investigative 'dot connecting' pages that made up the bulk of the book were strong, but the concluding chapters undid much of that.

The end is a quite boring plea for Good Government and a defense of 'our' scientists the authors irritatingly assume an American readership throughout, even stepping into 'our founding fathers' levels of turgid liberalism.

Perhaps it's churlish of me to complain about the authors not being wadical enough for me in an otherwise decent book, but this is my review and I'll do what I want tyvm.

Sep 01, Blog on Books rated it it was amazing. Their powerful re-assembly of the history of such programs over the last fifty years covers issues ranging from tobacco safety to DDT to Acid Rain and of course, global warming.

The details of their reporting are far too vast to elucidate here, but suffice to say that many of the same players — some of the top ranked hawkish scientists of the 20th century — have been involved in many, if not all, of these campaigns.

Jan 31, Greg rated it it was amazing Shelves: science , history. I found it in my local library and was not disappointed.

When "fair and balanced" counter balances the discoveries of science against the views of those with a profit motive, we are all the poorer. It saddens me that so many americans, including some cherished family members, have no idea of what goes into establishing a justified, true belief.

The corporate control of our news outlets make it easy for tobacco companies and oil and coal companies to have their propaganda accepted uncritically.

Progress seems hopeless, but the truth has a way of winning out. The book gives me hope and explains how these doubts are funded.

Should be required reading for every one who wishes not to be duped by conmen. Sep 24, Son Tung rated it it was amazing.

Excellent arguments with paramount volume of facts. One of those books i have to recommend my friends in flesh in my social circles for a better discussion on science.

The details make compelling case studies of the interplay between science, politics and free market ideologists this includes corporations and even scientists.

Mar 14, Ryan rated it really liked it Shelves: eco. Why does so much of the "global warming is a hoax crowd" recall the "tobacco doesn't cause cancer crowd?

In other words, this small group attack or question findings showing that smoking is one cause of cancer, that nuclear war is apocalyptic, that sulfur dioxide emissions caused acid rain, that nitrous oxide depletes the ozone layer, that se Why does so much of the "global warming is a hoax crowd" recall the "tobacco doesn't cause cancer crowd?

In other words, this small group attack or question findings showing that smoking is one cause of cancer, that nuclear war is apocalyptic, that sulfur dioxide emissions caused acid rain, that nitrous oxide depletes the ozone layer, that second hand smoke is also one cause of cancer, or that greenhouse gases cause climate change.

I see I am very smart people write that this questioning is just what science does. Is it though? The core claim here is that these merchants of doubt promote denialism neither for truth nor money though they often are given a load of money but rather because of ideology.

Oreskes writes, and I'm sorry for mangling the passage but this brings it all together: "Friedman argued Visit our What to Watch page.

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Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Self as Stanton Glantz Sam Roe Self - Climate Scientist John Passacantando Self as Fred Singer Michael Shermer Marshall Institute Marc Morano Edit Storyline A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.

Taglines: Propaganda noun. Derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

Genres: Documentary. Edit Did You Know? Goofs Roughly 59 minutes into the documentary it cuts to an interview with James Taylor of the Heartland Institute.

In the background an office worker in a mobility scooter reverses into doorway. The thing that sets magicians apart from con men, and other kinds of thieves and liars, is that we are honest liars.

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Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Director: Robert Kenner. Writers: Erik M. Added to Watchlist. From metacritic. Stars of the s, Then and Now.

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Self as Stanton Glantz Sam Roe Self - Climate Scientist John Passacantando Self as Fred Singer Michael Shermer Marshall Institute Marc Morano Edit Storyline A documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.

Taglines: Propaganda noun. Derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

Genres: Documentary. Edit Did You Know? Goofs Roughly 59 minutes into the documentary it cuts to an interview with James Taylor of the Heartland Institute.

In the background an office worker in a mobility scooter reverses into doorway. The thing that sets magicians apart from con men, and other kinds of thieves and liars, is that we are honest liars.

It's the moral contract. Sony Pictures Classics. Retrieved March 8, Bibcode : Sci USA Today. Das Netzwerk des Leugnens. In: Physik in unserer Zeit 46, Issue 2, , p.

Merchants of Doubt: How "scientific" misinformation campaigns sold untruths to consumers The Christian Science Monitor.

Merchants of Doubt The Ecologist. Marshall Institute, a conservative think tank. Policy Outlook.

George C. Marshall Institute. Archived from the original PDF on October 29, Retrieved March 12, Although cloaked in the appearance of scholarly work, the book constitutes an effort to discredit and undermine the reputations of three deceased scientists who contributed greatly to our nation Global warming portal Environment portal.

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Download as PDF Printable version. Naomi Oreskes , Erik M. June 3, Bloomsbury Press. Blind trust will get us into at least as much trouble as no trust at all.

But without some degree of trust in our designated experts. Snow once argued that foolish faith in authority is the enemy of truth.

But so is a foolish cynicism. We close with the comments of S. Green, director of research for British American Tobacco, who decided, finally, that what his industry had done was wrong, not just morally, but also intellectually: 'A demand for scientific proof is always a formula for inaction and delay, and usually the first reaction of the guilty.

The proper basis for such decisions is, of course, quite simply that which is reasonable in the circumstances. In fact, they always are, for economic projections about the future perhaps the most frequent basis for public policy are at least as uncertain as scientific ones.

If the consequences of inaction appear sufficiently serious and probable, the prudent ruler and the prudent society will begin to undertake corrective action even while acknowledging the possibility that subsequent research will reveal such action unnecessary; better safe than sorry.

My one major misgiving about the book: despite their attempts to demystify the scientific enterprise, and acknowledge that it is human, all too human, not blessed with some special gift of infallibility, it is hard not to feel that the authors continue to speak of "the halls of science" in somewhat reverential tones.

Scientists are repeatedly eulogized as pure uncorrupt seekers after truth, even while a few contrarian scientists are shown to be quite the opposite.

But of course, if Seitz, Singer, Nierenberg, and others could let their ideology and the interests of their benefactors get in the way of doing honest and objective science, who's to say that most other scientists are immune to this.

Conway and Oreskes do enough to suggest, I think, that the accusations that climate alarmists are acting out of self-interest or political ideology are a case of the pot calling the kettle black; however, that doesn't mean that the kettle may not be black as well.

I have no doubt that most climate scientists are conscientious researchers who do their utmost to be objective and avoid unnecessary alarmism.

But not all, and not always. The authors always speak of "peer review" the same way that Catholics speak of "Our Holy Father," and it irks me just the same way.

Peer review is certainly better than the lack thereof, but it's no magic epistemological bullet. Scientists, like anyone else, are subject to the herd instinct, to confirmation bias, and sometimes to something as prosaic as mere laziness.

After just a couple years in academia, I have seen enough of the failings of the peer review process in theological studies to be skeptical that it could work as perfectly in scientific studies as many seem to think.

So pardon me for still being something of a skeptic about the reliability of mainstream scientific opinion at any given time.

That said, I concede the overall point Conway and Oreskes are trying to make—you can't refuse to act just because there will always be grounds for skepticism.

Mainstream science may be riddled with errors, but when the stakes are high enough, you've got to make decisions based on the best resources available to you, and until God deigns to issue an oracle telling us the truth about climate change and the best solution to it, we'd best pay attention to the scientists.

Feb 18, Tim O'Neill rated it it was amazing Shelves: politics. This Australian summer's bushfire catastrophe brought with it a deluge of climate change denialism in the press, on some TV commentary, from certain politicians with a lot of weasel words from others and, particularly, on social media.

Long debunked claims, distorted misinformation, cherry picked data and error-laden memes were spread far and wide, supposedly "debunking" the expert assessment that the unprecedented fires and attendant drought were substantially driven by climate change.

My fru This Australian summer's bushfire catastrophe brought with it a deluge of climate change denialism in the press, on some TV commentary, from certain politicians with a lot of weasel words from others and, particularly, on social media.

My frustration at seeing this nonsense being pushed by bot armies, full time contrarians and culture warriors and, in many cases, accepted uncritically by far too many Australians motivated me to start tracing back where these arguments came from and the origin and source of climate denialism in the face of the scientific consensus.

This led me to finally read Oreskes and Conway's book, which I first put on my mental "to read" pile a decade ago. With meticulous care, the authors use their skills as historians and archival researchers to uncover the decades long history of not just climate change denial, but a whole interconnected anti-science campaign by political ideologues determined to defend unregulated business practices and laissez-faire capitalism at any cost.

The power of this ideology is such that what has become a virtual crusade against science itself has been, ironically, substantially driven by a few contrarian scientists with a political agenda.

The authors show that the tactics used today by climate change deniers were developed and honed in previous skirmishes between these laissez-faire capitalist fundamentalists and scientific reality.

Beginning with the tobacco lobby's attempts to stall any restrictions on their industry in the face of a clear consensus on the deadly effects of tobacco in the s, the authors show that exactly the same tactics were used to dispute the effects of DDT, deny the causes of acid rain and obfuscate the origin of the hole in the Ozone Layer.

Not only this, but they show that it was often the same contrarian ideologues in the scientific sphere who drove each of these campaigns of misinformation or eagerly lent their reputations usually in unrelated scientific fields to their cause.

Over and over again the same names come up - Robert Jastrow, Fred Seitz, William Nierenberg and Fred Singer - who along with some lesser fellow travellers, spent decades creating an illusion of doubt on these subjects, bamboozling the media into thinking there was good reason not to act in any way that might restrict big businesses' capacity to make profits at the expense of human health, well-being and the environment.

The way these fanatics manipulated the media's obsession with "showing both sides" and the reason this "balance" idea doesn't work when it comes to science is a key theme in the book.

What is depressing is that in the ten years since its publication, the media has not become much smarter on science issues and, unfortunately, scientists have not become much better at beating the contrarians by presenting the real story.

But the most interesting element for me was the historical roots of the ideology that drives denialism to this day - the Cold War obsession with anything remotely like Communism, leading to a blind and wrongheaded embrace of its equally irrational and purely ideological polar opposite: the idea that untrammelled business and industry will inevitably produce the greatest possible good.

The book shows that climate change denial is the latest and biggest lie in a sequence of lies that are driven by a poisonous ideology, funded by greedy plutocrats and their political creatures.

Nothing much has changed, though events like the Australian bushfires are perhaps starting to make more people realise that the things we were warned about are now happening.

This excellent book is a classic example of how understanding the past can help us understand the present and shape the future.

By seeing how this toxic ideology arose and how its tactics developed, we may have some chance of fighting it before it's too late.

Apr 20, Nandakishore Varma marked it as to-read Shelves: science. On another internet forum I used to frequent, there was a hot argument whether science was "good" or "bad".

Two or three members were convinced about the inherent "badness" of science - they were great believers in metaphysics and spirituality.

Another member and I were arguing for the inherent value neutrality of science. There was one guy who was pro-science, but vehemently against value-neutrality.

He argued that science, unless inherently coupled with ethics, is bad. While I appreciated this On another internet forum I used to frequent, there was a hot argument whether science was "good" or "bad".

While I appreciated this as a political position, I was highly sceptical about its practicality. Reading about this book, however, bought home to me the fact that science has got an intrinsic value - it has to be the search for truth.

The scientist has to be committed to it. Otherwise, it means that the scientist has sold his soul to the devil I mean, corporate interests. Jul 04, Stuart rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Environmentalists, science policy types.

I'm giving this book an extra half star because I know one of the authors and I can read between the lines and see that her contributions are more circumspect and better thought out than the compromised version that ended up in this book.

Merchants of Doubt is about the misuse of science by politicians. It's a very good, methodically researched introduction to how science gets twisted in the political process.

Where this book loses credibility, however, is that it shows only one side of the stor I'm giving this book an extra half star because I know one of the authors and I can read between the lines and see that her contributions are more circumspect and better thought out than the compromised version that ended up in this book.

Where this book loses credibility, however, is that it shows only one side of the story: the misuse of science by conservative politicians aided by conservative scientists.

It happens on the other side as well. Don't believe me? Here's an example. Obama has publicly made claims that the safety of the site is not supported by the science.

Actually, the science shows it to be a good site. The start of the entire "Yucca Mountain is bad" movement began with a long tome filled with theories that defied basic physics written by a single DOE employee.

Environmentalists and Nevadans championed this tome. They became, using the title of this book, merchants of doubt.

The best part of the book are the naked facts, most of which it gets right with wonderful detail. The worst part of the book is the venom and cattiness.

The book overplays its hand again and again and tries to simplify in order to make what amounts to character assassinations about those it doesn't like.

Some of these people died many years ago and of course, can't rebut the claims made. Some of the claims are inconsistent. Cheap foreshadowing is used - how these people supposedly act or look or talk - to make these people seem sinister.

Just because someone has a different point of view does not make them inherently evil. Just because someone agrees with you does not make them a messiah incarnate.

The book makes the claim that the same Cold War conservative warriors show up again and again to fight sound science related to environmental issues.

That's not really true. It's certainly not the same people every time. Some die along the way. Others were children when this cabal supposedly started.

Edward Teller fought for SDI, yes, but he wasn't involved in acid rain, second hand smoke, or global warming issues.

Even the characterization of Reagan's motivation for SDI is given a sinister edge; the authors needed to do some more research on that end.

In short there is a consistent and I believe ill conceived attempt to connect many many dots - some far apart, some close - together.

The examples aren't all pertinent and some run counter to the thesis - acid rain legislation was actually passed under a Republican administration as was the Montreal protocol - of this book.

Science is misused by politicians all the time. The trick of finding one scientist - qualified or not - to cast doubt on scientific consensus isn't something that just takes place with Republicans.

Democrats do the same thing. This book, which has some excellent examples of this trick, would be far, far better if it shed its liberal bias and agenda - put aside the demonizing and paranoia - and just stuck to the facts.

If you can get past all the venom and the looking at the world through a very liberal, environmentalist filter, there is a lot of wonderful material in this book.

I don't think many people have that ability. There is another flaw in this book that I will only cursorily mention.

In order to try to strengthen its arguments, it puts far too much faith in the value of environmental models and peer review. Models are highly flawed things.

So is peer review. At times, the approach of the authors in extolling peer review sounds eerily like the language free marketeers use when discussing the "invisible hand" that supposedly corrects the economy.

I only wish peer review and even scientific consensus were as rational as the authors' claim. View all 3 comments. Dec 23, Erwin rated it did not like it.

Bottom line: - the masses are easy to manipulate - science, just like intelligence CIA has become a political tool - political "scientists" on behalf of some business lobbies have sewn seeds of doubt - the doubt is enough to confuse the mass media, and thereby the masses - doubt is always in the interest of the status quo, because doubt prevents action and change This could have been a single page news article.

No need to write a book, unless the scope is expanded, or some more interesting facts so Bottom line: - the masses are easy to manipulate - science, just like intelligence CIA has become a political tool - political "scientists" on behalf of some business lobbies have sewn seeds of doubt - the doubt is enough to confuse the mass media, and thereby the masses - doubt is always in the interest of the status quo, because doubt prevents action and change This could have been a single page news article.

No need to write a book, unless the scope is expanded, or some more interesting facts something that challenges our world view can be located.

Lots of minutiae. I'm detail oriented, but the magnitude of the details is simply not surprising, yet the quantity of details was very boring.

Not sure who the target audience is for this. Probably written for scientists to criticize the "bad scientists" that "sold out" to corporate lobbies.

Mar 25, Darian Onaciu rated it really liked it. Excellent book about how certain corporations manipulated public opinion through different means and discredited the work of legitimate scientists because it went against the economic interests of the conglomerates.

The writing is clear and concise, the arguments crisp and the tone is inquisitive and analytical. The authors take in the whole problem, analyze it and then highlight the involvement of each party, drawing a conclusion based on all the available evidence.

If you're interested about how Excellent book about how certain corporations manipulated public opinion through different means and discredited the work of legitimate scientists because it went against the economic interests of the conglomerates.

If you're interested about how science in general is done or in how it sometimes collides with private interests, this book is for you.

Jun 24, Book rated it it was amazing Shelves: science , politics-economics. Conway "Merchants of Doubt" is a fascinating book that tells the upsetting story of how a small power-group of conservative scientists ran destructive campaigns to mislead the public about science.

The book provides a number of fascinating cases that has a direct impact on the public. This page book is composed of the following seven chapters: 1.

Marshall Institute, 3. Sowing the Seeds of Doubt: Acid Rain, 4. The Fight over Secondhand Smoke, 6. He Denial of Global Warming, and7.

A well-written, well-researched book for the masses. Great science writing. Fascinating, jaw-dropping expose of some of the scoundrels behind the misinformation machine.

Meticulously researched book that provides compelling evidence in support of the main thesis. The tactics used behind the willful dissemination of false science in the service of politics and profits.

Fascinating cases exposed with a luxury of details. An excellent introduction that establishes the foundation of this excellent book.

The history of how the tobacco industry fought to deflect attention from the fact that tobacco caused cancer. The strategies used by culpable industries.

Some very dirty tactics indeed. The myth that scientists would do anything for funding is resoundingly debunked with the missile defense research program.

The fascinating look at the nuclear winter debate. Great use of science throughout book. Well supported arguments. How politics can get in the way of the facts.

How science works. The importance of peer reviews. Scathing criticism, "scientific claims were being published in scientific journals, where only scientists would read them, but unscientific claims were being published in the mass media".

CFCs, acid rain and the ozone hole The emergence of think tanks created with the sole purpose of discrediting science. A must-read chapter on global warming.

The story behind pesticide use. How bugs and bacteria provide the best evidence we have of natural selection. Great use of links.

Extensive notes section that supports how well-researched this book truly is. Negatives: 1. Be prepared to get upset. This book is an expose that will make your blood rise.

Conservatives will call foul but the facts don't cease to exist because you ignore them. Having to wait for this duo's next masterpiece.

In summary, a fantastic eye-opening expose of grand proportions. This book earns your trust by providing arguments supported by copious amounts of quality research and sound science.

It's a devastating and thought-provoking book on how the power elite create pseudo science organizations to undermine real science at the expense of the public.

I can't recommend this book enough Further reading: "Science under Siege Jun 13, Todd Martin rated it really liked it. The tactic was to sow doubt and to foment uncertainty about the science as a means to prevent regulatory action.

And it worked. Why is this approach so successful? Part of the answer lies in the public misunderstanding of science; what it is, and how it works.

Science in particular, science of emerging issues is not a collection of proven facts, it is a body of knowledge that provides a better understanding of the world as the evidence accumulates.

There is always more to learn about any topic, but this not a reason to conclude that action should not be taken in the absence of certainty.

We do things every day in our lives based on the best evidence available, even if it is incomplete. A simple example would be choosing whether to purchase a piece of fruit.

We use the data generated by sight, smell and touch to estimate the likelihood that the fruit is good and determine whether to buy it based on this evidence which is anything but definitive.

The anti-regulatory lobby takes advantage of the uncertainty that is present in each scientific discussion to argue against taking action.

Oreskes illustrates the history of this obfuscation using the examples of tobacco smoke, acid rain, ozone depletion, and second hand smoke as well as the current hot button issue of global warming.

While is not surprising that the same arguments are recycled again and again as excuses for inaction, what is surprising is that it is often the very same people and institutions that are making them.

Not surprisingly, it is ideology rather than the desire for good public policy that motivates these groups. They tend to be right-wing, free market fundamentalists who see government regulations of industries and practices that harm the public as a descent into Communism.

While you may or may not agree with their ideology, their willingness to resort to deception, obfuscation, misdirection and outright falsehoods to further their agenda is something every truth-loving citizen should consider offensive.

Unfortunately, given a public that is largely scientifically illiterate and unused to critical thinking, this strategy will continue to bear fruit and it is the rest of us that will pay the price.

Jun 07, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , favorites , 5-stars. This is a heavy book with a lot of facts and proof to back it up that everyone should read.

It is then sold to the American public as fact. All of these things that the American people have been duped into believing is wrong.

All of this because certain scientists were hired bought to cause "doubt" among the science. Good job…they have made Americans seem really stupid.

It took 5 years for the authors to write this book and provide the facts to back it up. This is one everyone should read…just so we question everything we are told.

And even when a "scientist" says it we still need to check the background of "that" scientist and also make sure that the things they say went through a Peer Review for All Science and we just didn't hear about it on TV or from a magazine, or newspaper.

Jun 15, Carly Friedman rated it it was ok Shelves: nfbc-brs-and-botms , just-couldn-t-finish , nonfiction-goal , because-science.

I could not finish this book. I struggled through four boring, tedious chapters before giving up. The premise was interesting but the content was disappointing.

Each chapter focused on how an industry or governmental group was influenced by a few biased scientists and therefore ignored or discounted good research on the topic.

The minutiae of the different people and their affiliations got in the way of the bigger picture. Shelves: history.

A few years ago a diverse group of right-wingers affiliated with a variety of conservative and 'libertarian' think-tanks, corporations, foundations and publications attempted the take-over of America's sole liberal 'great books' school, Shimer College.

Shimer is a small institution, but its charter, dating to the midth century, is priceless and the whole notion of 'the Great Books' has traditionally attracted idealogues of the Right.

Under two presidents, Rice and Lindsay, both arising from R A few years ago a diverse group of right-wingers affiliated with a variety of conservative and 'libertarian' think-tanks, corporations, foundations and publications attempted the take-over of America's sole liberal 'great books' school, Shimer College.

Fortunately, the pattern was discerned, the plot exposed and publicized. The college was saved by a one vote margin in the board.

Many of the same players figure prominently in this book about the ongoing efforts of what its authors call 'free market fundamentalists' to fight environmental science, ostensibly seen by them as a form of creeping socialism.

Coincidentally, but unsurprisingly, such insights are often actually motivated by large sums provided by the corporations facing regulation, corporations such as the tobacco industries and the energy companies.

Here in Chicago, home of Shimer College, the most notorious of these institutional mercenaries is The Heartland Foundation, the major funders of which are the self-same tobacco and energy corporations for whom the foundation publishes materials supporting smoking, attacking climate change science and those who worry about such things as second-hand smoke, acid rain, ozone depletion, radiation and the like.

Oct 14, Lauren rated it it was amazing. Contained within its pages is a careful analysis of how a handful of corporations and scientists distorted public understanding for their own narrow purposes.

The book is meticulously researched while also being appropriately simplified, given the wide range of material covered.

I do wish the book had more explicitly pointed out the cost to the environment and human health caused by stirring up unnecessary doubt, especially on more settled issues such as smoking.

But those are very minor quibbles to what is an otherwise top-notch book. Highly recommended. Rigorous and serious, passionate and informative; one of the most important books of the 21st century.

It is not an easy read but a book that must be read nonetheless. Jul 29, Kevin rated it really liked it Shelves: environment-climate-change , 1-how-the-world-works , 3c-reread , critique-propaganda.

The Good : --I vaguely remember the documentary adaptation; this book is far more memorable. The Bad, or rather suggestions : --Rigorous accounting naming names and tracing the various shenanigans surely has its place.

However, I do wonder the target audience. The summary parts were helpful. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky 2 Understanding the scientific method: why we bother with it instead of relying on heuristics.

Bad Science 3 Understanding capitalism: how did we come to be swept up by the global commodity chain, labor market, and debt.

A scientific theory cannot be reduced to two lines and explain the subject matter without bias. But a doubt can dismantle the very same theory in just a few words.

Science has always been at war - sometimes it challenges the ideology of the masses and in more recent years, it impacts profits of large organizations.

Scientific history becomes important in this context to be documented and well circulated. The propaganda isn't against science, at least not always.

The propaganda attacks the way a s A scientific theory cannot be reduced to two lines and explain the subject matter without bias.

The propaganda attacks the way a scientific theory is presented, the narration it takes, and that becomes enough for those with limited to basic knowledge to question the actual theory.

Be it tobacco industry, auto industry, agriculture - there is always the other side that persists in denying effects of excess use of CFC, harmful chemicals used to protect crops, tobacco etc.

The studies on these subject matters start as theories and observations which get peer reviewed, subject to discussions in international platforms and either gets a nod or flat out dismissal.

The theories that stem from lobbying and propaganda don't always take this route. They enlist PR firms, lobbyists, journalists, media entities, politicians and even scientists.

What started in s in boardrooms and newspapers are now familiar mantra during political campaigns. In this day and age we have people saying "I believe in science".

Science isn't a religion that warrants faith. Its based on proof; it gets accepted or rejected based on peer evaluation.

It acknowledges the probability of being wrong with advancements in knowledge. But it doesn't mean you don't act upon or take precautions to the warning it currently poses.

Not just scientists but all of us, as human race, are obligated towards ethical and moral decisions. It is in human nature to defy that to pursue a profit, a political or business agenda.

Scientists are no exception to that. All we have to remember that our actions have direct consequences.

One day it will blow up in our faces. Apr 22, Michael Burnam-Fink rated it it was amazing Shelves: sts , Merchants of Doubt reads like a case presented by the prosecution.

Oreskes and Conway look at several late 20th century scientific controversies: the link between cigarettes and cancer; the risks of nuclear weapon, the damage done by acid rain, CFCs and the ozone layer, and above all climate change, to find that these controversies extend far beyond the limits of reasonable doubt.

This is no accident, but rather the result of a deliberate public relations strategy formulated by a small group of Merchants of Doubt reads like a case presented by the prosecution.

This is no accident, but rather the result of a deliberate public relations strategy formulated by a small group of Cold War physics, propagated by a network of conservative think tanks, and funded by companies with a business model that creates threats to human life.

All of them parleyed real scientific work around the Manhattan Project and the early Cold War into political positions connected with the Republican party.

In the mid 60s, as the dangers of smoking became apparent, the tobacco industry began supporting scientific research to create a bench of trial experts to cast doubt on the link between cigarettes and cancer.

Seitz, Nierenberg, and Jastrow founded the staunchly freemarket George C. Marshall Institute in to provide structure for for their work. Singer was loosely affiliated with the network.

The charges are serious enough, and timeline involved complex enough, that I'll leave the details to the book.

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