Naomi Oreskes

Historian of science pointing out the ‘merchants of doubt’

A historian of science with a background in geology, Naomi Oreskes’ book ‘Merchants of Doubt’ – co-authored with Erik Conway – is one that has made the shift from standalone publication to a whole way of talking about a dimension of political debate. The book explores the ways uncertainties inherent in scientific work may be over-inflated – over climate change but with parallels in earlier controversies over tobacco, acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer – including the active lobbying that happens through aspects of the scientific community. Before Merchants of Doubt, Oreskes was already well known for her work on the scientific consensus on climate change, is a frequent contributor to the media and recently joined Twitter @NaomiOreskes.