Search This Blog

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Agnotology is the study of manufactured ignorance and doubt which leads to science denial.

A sobering example of manufactured doubt was Republican consultant Frank Luntz's 2002 memo on climate change.  As the memo stated:

"A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth."

That's scary stuff, when the elected leaders of one major U.S. political party are and were willing to trade the truth for a compelling story.

With a U.S. presidential election just weeks away, it's interesting to revisit this science denial discussion from 3 years ago.   What makes it interesting are the remarks by people who worked in government and struggled with the manufacture of ignorance and doubt by those in power.  Once President Obama was elected, things improved:

(At the time that video was shot, CO2 was approaching 350 ppm, and now we're approaching 400 ppm.)

Speaking of presidents, here's a former American Nuclear Society president manufacturing doubt on health physics.  Hopefully, matters within the ANS will parallel the improvements within the federal government, and things will improve under the new president:

I refuse to be a consumer of the manufactured product of doubt.  I don't buy bull.

And I will vote accordingly.

No comments:

Post a Comment