Dr. Naomi Oreskes, science historian, author and professor of history and science studies at University of California San Diego, will visit Fort Hays State University and give a presentation about climate change on Wednesday as part of her state tour.
Oreskes is one of the world’s leading historians of science. Her research focuses on consensus and dissent in science. She has won numerous prizes for her work and has lectured widely in diverse venues ranging from the Madison, Wis., Civics Club to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Her 2004 essay, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” cited by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth, led to Op-Ed pieces in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The San Francisco Chronicle, and to Congressional testimony in the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
“One of the problems has been that scientists are often reluctant to be seen as advocates of political policies and aren’t too good at explaining in nuts and bolts terms,” said Bob Hooper, Hays Daily News columnist. “Carl Sagan, for example, was a rarity, as is Oreskes.”
“Any time a speaker presents about a controversial topic, it forces people to broaden their horizons,” said Sandy Grigoryan, project coordinator in the Center for Civic Leadership. “This can only positively affect the students at FHSU.”
Oreskes’s research highlighted the disconnect between the state of scientific debate and the way it was being presented in the mass media and perceived by the American people. Teaming up with Erik Conway, co-author of the resulting book “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.”
Her further research soon suggested that the reason we are all confused is that people have been trying to confuse us.
After the presentation, Oreskes will hold a book signing. Books will be available for sale at the event.
For more information about the presentation or book signing, contact Grigoryan at 785-628-5528.