Why trust science? A talk by Professor Naomi Oreskes
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? Tracing the history and philosophy of science from late nineteenth century to today, 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 against.
Naomi Oreskes @NaomiOreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. She is an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and author of both scholarly and popular books and articles on the history of earth and environmental science, including The Rejection of Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth, and in recent decades has been a leading voice on the issue of anthropogenic climate change. Her research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. 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. She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.
Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government.
The Hashtag for this event is #LSEOreskes