Please do watch Naomi Oreske’s magristral (not “magisterial”, since she’s female) presentation on her new publication “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming” in the YouTube above.
The presentation is somewhat marred by poor audiovisual capture, but it’s fascinating, all the same, and good to hear her logical argumentation; and be reminded of what has been happening for the last 50 years in the public “debates” on Science.
The Media have still not gotten to grips with what Science actually is, and how to present it, and how to research it, and often end up interviewing and reporting people who are either not expert in the field they are asked about, or have an underlying agenda for misinformation being published.
Why do we not have a School of Science for journalists and others in the Media ? Where can journalists go to complete their knowledge on what Science is and what Science does ?
Why do some Media workers end up with the view that explanations from Science cannot be relied on, and that everything is relative ? If everything were really only relative, and we couldn’t know anything about how the Universe actually works, then I wouldn’t be typing into a computing machine and it wouldn’t be relaying the information on the World Wide Web.
There are evidential facts in the Universe, there are causes and effects. And then there are opinions. The opinions do not always match the evidence, no matter how strongly those opinions are held or how in-depth a self-validating framework they have.
For example : homeopathy and astrology are invalid, hypothetical explanations and/or predictions of evidential facts. The explanations given only work within the parameters set by the frameworks. They don’t relate to actual evidence of causal relationships, and they cannot be used to change or predict future evidence (apart from influencing the minds of people, which may influence the future).
As counter examples, we know, without any real uncertainty, that tobacco smoking causes a range of human disease; and that increased atmospheric Carbon Dioxide causes increased Global Warming.
I feel duty-bound to be polite to people who believe in homeopathy or astrology, but I don’t accept what they say as it has no basis in Science.
Why can’t the Climate Change “sceptics” be more polite and reasonable about those of us who know what the Science says, and know what the evidence means ?
Why are these obstructers of Climate Change Science so obnoxious, insistent and intransigent ?
It has something to do with the techniques they have been learning to de-rail the progress of Science :-