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Naomi Oreskes: Neo-liberalism and the Denial of Global Warming

Location: The Franke Institute for the Humanities

The Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT) Presents 

Naomi Oreskes: Neo-liberalism and the Denial of Global Warming

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and an internationally renowned historian of science and author who has won numerous prizes, including, most recently the 2011 Climate Change Communicator of the Year. She has a long-standing interest in understanding the establishment of scientific consensus and the role and character of scientific dissent. Her early work examined the 20th century transformation of earth science, in The Rejection Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science (Oxford, 1999) and Plate Tectonics: An Insider's History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (Westview, 2001). Professor Oreskes has also written on the under-acknowledged role of women in science, discussed in the prize-winning paper "Objectivity or heroism? On the invisibility of women in science" (OSIRIS 11 (1996): 87-113); and on the role of numerical simulation models in establishing knowledge about inaccessible natural phenomena (Verification, validation, and confirmation of numerical models in the earth sciences," Science 263 (1994): 641-646).

Most recently, Professor Oreskes has primarily been interested in the problem of anthropogenic climate change.  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 Times (London), The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Nature, Science, The New Statesman, Frankfuter Allegemeine, 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.  She is currently working on a book on the history of Cold War Oceanography, Science on a Mission: American Oceanography in the Cold War and Beyond (Chicago, forthcoming), and Assessing Assessments: A Historical and Philosophical Study of Scientific Assessments 

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information on 3CT's Climate Change Project, see  

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Earlier Event: February 20
RDCEP All Hands Meeting