Monday, May 31, 2010

Oreskes New Book

So now Oreskes along with Conway have published a book called "Merchants of Doubt." (A name perhaps unfortunately similar to Merchant of Venice given that all the people she attacks are Jewish.) Anyway I just ordered a copy but it seems unlikely that this will be more factual than her peer reviewed work. In fact her non peer reviewed article in the Sunday Times was even more of a fabrication than her article, as was the BBC segment based on her work. So I have a feeling this is going to be horrible.

I knew how to respond to a bad paper, publish a correct paper. I also knew how to respond to an fabricated story in the media, get a correction published. But I have no idea how to respond to this book. All I have come up with so far is to put up a review on Amazon. Doesn't seem like much.

It just occurred to me that I never figured out how to respond to her inaccurate Congressional testimony either. She has this great soap box and the imprimatur of the university that makes correcting the history a real uphill battle.

3 comments:

Andrew said...

It looks like more factually inaccurate smears of your father, along with Frederick Seitz and Fred Singer.

In particular, Seitz was not "hired" by the tobacco industry and always believed that smoking was bad for health, although was unconvinced by claims related to second hand smoke. The vast majority of the medical research that was "funded" by them was unrelated to smoking.

Nicolas Nierenberg said...

Yes, now that I have just about finished up on "Chicken Little", it looks like I will have to go through the fiction in Merchants of Doubt.

Andrew said...

Nicolas,

I highly recommend teaming up with any remaining living scientists mentioned in her recent book such as Dr. Singer and writing a complete rebuttal to the book for publication in a journal. Title it something simple like "Rebuttal to the book 'Merchants of Doubt'". Each should focus on the sections of the book they are familiar with and seek advice from family members and friends of the deceased for the rest. Make it is long as necessary and seek publication in a journal that allows lengthy publications. Dr. Singer will know how to get it heard online and it will get widely read, I can assure you.

This book is being used already to smear your father and the other scientists throughout the Internet regarding the climate change debate, so far you are one of the lone voices challenging it and it is welcome. Some people like Oreskes have no intention of seeking the truth on these matters but rather wishes to smear those she disagrees with, instead of simply accepting that scientists may disagree. Your father's credentials make him a target for those wishing to advance global warming alarm. Those like Oreskes know that if the public accepts that eminent Physicists believe that AGW may be overplayed then they too may question policy actions Oreskes wants implemented. This has long stopped being a scientific debate by some and turned into a cry for alarm.