Naomi oreskes why we should believe in science

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naomi oreskes why we should believe in science

Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes

Why the social character of scientific knowledge makes it trustworthy

Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when our own politicians dont? In this landmark book, Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength--and the greatest reason we can trust it.

Tracing the history and philosophy of science from the late nineteenth century to today, Oreskes explains that, contrary to popular belief, there is no single scientific method. Rather, the trustworthiness of scientific claims derives from the social process by which they are rigorously vetted. This process is not perfect--nothing ever is when humans are involved--but she draws vital lessons from cases where scientists got it wrong. Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy.

Based on the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Princeton University, this timely and provocative book features critical responses by climate experts Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Kowarsch, political scientist Jon Krosnick, philosopher of science Marc Lange, and science historian Susan Lindee, as well as a foreword by political theorist Stephen Macedo.
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Published 19.12.2018

Why are climate scientists so conservative? - Naomi Oreskes, UC San Diego - Schneider Symposium 2011

We as a people have to answer questions that rely on the scientific method — about global warming, evolution, and the effectiveness of vaccines. So how do we trust scientists? A law is true in the general case — in all times and places, and cannot be broken.
Naomi Oreskes

The Difference Between Trusting Science, and Trusting Scientists

Listen Listening Naomi Oreskes. While we expect politicians to disagree on how best to address the issues we face, it now seems that science, itself, has become a wedge issue. Naomi Oreskes, a science historian at Harvard University and co-author of Merchants of Doubt , says the current skepticism and hostility toward science marks a significant departure from attitudes that were prevalent forty or fifty years ago, during the Cold War and Space Race, when many in the political and corporate sectors saw science as the answer to our problems. Oreskes doesn't see that change as a positive one. She says it's important for everyone to be informed and think critically, but also argues that - at some point - we need to trust the expertise of the scientific community "with a certain degree of healthy skepticism, but not corrosive skepticism, not stupid skepticism, not rejectionism.

We humans are a curious lot. We are always trying to figure out how things work. Eventually, we developed the scientific method to test out our ideas. But, how do we know what we know is true? Can we practice curiosity with a spirit of inquiry? Where is the boundary between healthy skepticism and trust when it comes to facts?

Why the social character of scientific knowledge makes it trustworthy Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when our own politicians don't? In this landmark book, Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength—and the greatest reason we can trust it. Tracing the history and philosophy of science from the late nineteenth century to today, Oreskes explains that, contrary to popular belief, there is no single scientific method. Rather, the trustworthiness of scientific claims derives from the social process by which they are rigorously vetted.

Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists -- but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science.
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More about this book

Naomi Oreskes born November 25, [1] is an American historian of science. In , Oreskes co-authored Merchants of Doubt which identified some parallels between the climate change debate and earlier public controversies. Forest Service ranger. She is the author of or has contributed to a number of essays and technical reports in economic geology and history of science [10] in addition to several books. Oreskes' academic career started in geology, then broadened into history and philosophy of science. Her work was concerned with scientific methods, model validation, consensus, dissent, as in 2 books on the often-misunderstood history of continental drift and plate tectonics. She later focused on climate change science and studied the doubt-creation industry opposing it.

Every day we face issues like climate change or the safety of vaccines where we have to answer questions whose answers rely heavily on scientific information. Scientists tell us that the world is warming. Scientists tell us that vaccines are safe. But how do we know if they are right? Why should be believe the science? The fact is, many of us actually don't believe the science. Public opinion polls consistently show that significant proportions of the American people don't believe the climate is warming due to human activities, don't think that there is evolution by natural selection, and aren't persuaded by the safety of vaccines.

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