January 19 – The Politics of Science: How a Cadre of Scientists Have Clouded Understanding of Scientific Facts to Advance a Political and Economic Agenda

When: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 6:30 PM
Where: UCLA Faculty Center, 480 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095
To RSVP: RSVP to Bennett Ramberg by January 18, 11am with your selection of $33 dinner/$38 dinner with dessert. Please bring your check payable to “Michael Intriligator,” your UCLA host. Parking is available at Structure 2, near the Faculty Center, at the corner of Hilgard and Westholme. Parking fee is $12.
For more information: Contact Denise Duffield at 213-689-9170

THE TOPIC: The Politics of Science: How a Cadre of Scientists Have Clouded Understanding of Scientific Facts to Advance a Political and Economic Agenda The U.S.scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science and issues affecting our quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Drawing on his recent book, Merchants of Doubt, co-authored with University of California, San Diego Professor of History and Science Naomi Oreskes, Erik Conway will tell the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individual surface repeatedly–some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is “not settled” denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain and CFCs to the ozone hole.

THE SPEAKER: Erik Conway is a historian of science and technology residing in Pasadena, CA. He is currently employed by the California Institute of Technology. He studies and documents the history of space exploration, and examines the intersections of space science, Earth science, and technological change. He most recently received the 2009 NASA History award for “path breaking contributions to space history ranging from aeronautics to Earth and space sciences,” and the 2009 AIAA History Manuscript Award for his fourth book, “Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History.” Conway began studying the history of climate science in 2002, after receiving a NASA history contract to write “Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History.” Two years later, at an International Commission for the History of Meteorology meeting in Polling, Germany, he met Oreskes and began a long conversation that resulted in their book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, Bloomsbury Press, 2010.

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