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Why Trust Science?


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A book, based on the author's 2016 Tanner Lectures at Princeton University, that provides a new argument for why we should trust science.

About the Author

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her books include The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Twitter @NaomiOreskes


"For both its evidence-based rigor and striking honesty, Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes should be required reading for everyone in scholarly communications. Addressing the broadest view of science possible - from the experimental to the historical - this book offers crisp, accessible writing and draws important connections to our world of research dissemination and publishing."---Lettie Conrad, The Scholarly Kitchen
"Oreskes' definition of science provides us with the best knowledge we can philosophically hope to get."---Ed Gibney, The Philosopher
Why Trust Science?
is an incredibly important work, bringing the history of science into something of a thinker's field guide to the pursuit of knowledge. It is sharply written and, beyond being merely informative, it is sage. Wherever the reader stands on the for or against science divide, Oreskes' determined and open-minded curiosity is infectious, as is her earned belief in science. Hopefully, it will encourage more scientists and science-lovers to spread the good word."---Katherine Oktober Matthews, Riding the Dragon
"One of FiveBooks' Best Climate Books of 2019"
"[A] fascinating new book . . . in a field with few reasons to be cheerful, it is both enlightening and encouraging. Once we begin to understand the size of the chasm that separates science's outsiders and insiders, as Oreskes clearly does, we can at least start to design a bridge."---Michael Brooks, New Scientist
"Oreskes is eloquent, insightful and bold. At a time where we are still confronted by climate change deniers and the anti-vaccine movement . . . it is easy to see why a book like this is so important. . . . This thought-provoking, timely and comprehensive book is a must-read."---Joanna Florence Sparks, Chemistry World
"A compelling argument in favour of experts."---Hettie O'Brien, New Statesman
"Oreskes joins a distinguished line of thinkers who explain why we should trust the findings of the scientific community . . . [and] clearly reminds readers that science has consistently brought home the bacon." * Kirkus Reviews *
"The decline of trust in science is one aspect of a much wider social issue, and the author gives a detailed survey of various perspectives from history and philosophy of science including many of the best-known names in the field."---David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer
"Naomi Oreskes challenges easy answers." * New Scientist *
"New Zealand Listener's Best Book of 2019"
"A fascinating and accessible read that considers numerous domains and issues to bring the reader to Oreskes' ultimate point, that trustworthy science depends on consensus, diversity, and methodological openness and flexibility."---Jeff Share, Journal of Sustainability Education
"Two features of science, [Oreskes] claims, account for its trustworthiness: its 'sustained engagement with the world' together with 'its social character.' Her emphasis on the second feature may surprise readers used to thinking of science as a tidy epistemic enterprise neatly insulated from social influence, but this view emerges clearly from her sober review of studies of science by historians, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists during the past half century."---Philip Kitcher, Boston Review
Why Trust Science?
is an optimistic analysis of the opportunities that exist for enhancing public trust in science. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone who is part of the scientific endeavor."---Elisabeth Gilmore, Science
"A marvellous, up to date, thorough historical survey of science and its processes."---John R. Helliwell, Journal of Applied Crystallography

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