Naomi Oreskes: "When Not to Trust Science, or When Science Goes Awry"

Dec 1, 2016, 4:30 pm6:15 pm
McCormick Hall, Room 101


Event Description

Video of Event:

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, and an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and author.  She received a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Mining Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London and then worked as an exploration geologist in the Australian outback. She received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Geological Research and History of Science from Stanford University. Oreskes joined the faculty at Harvard in 2013 after 15 years at the University of California, San Diego. Oreskes is the author of both scholarly and popular books and articles on the history of earth and environmental science, including The Rejection of Continental Drift (Oxford, 1999), Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (Westview, 2003), and in recent decades has been a leading voice on the issue of anthropogenic climate change.

Professor Oreskes also considers when we should not trust science.  What are the conditions under which scientists may go wrong? How should we know when not to trust what we are hearing ? As citizens, how can we judge competing claims and interpret disagreement and dissent?

With Commentators: Jon A. Krosnick, Stanford University and M. Susan Lindee, University of Pennsylvania

Jon Krosnick is Frederick O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Communication, Political Science, and Psychology at Stanford University; Director of Stanford’s Political Psychology Research Group; and Research Psychologist at the U.S. Census Bureau. He is an expert on the psychology of attitudes, especially in the area of politics, and was co-principal investigator of the American National Election Study, the nation's preeminent academic research project exploring voter decision-making. Krosnick’s research focuses on how the American public's political attitudes are formed, change, and shape thinking and action, with expertise in survey research methodology, voting behavior and elections, and American public opinion. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

M. Susan Lindee is Janice and Julian Bers Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her work explores the history of genetics, nuclear weapons and radiation risk.  Her books include Suffering Made Real, The DNA Mystique, and Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine (2005). A forthcoming study, with Joanna Radin, "Patrons of the Human Experience," will appear in October 2016 as a full issue of Current Anthropology. A Guggenheim Fellow, Visiting Professor at Hiroshima University, and Schuman Prize winner, she will be a Visiting Professor in Singapore in spring 2017.

Co-sponsored by:

  • Climate Futures Initiative
  • History of Science Program
  • Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Program