Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when our own politicians don’t? In her landmark 2019 book, Why Trust Science?, Naomi Oreskes offered a bold and compelling defence of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength – and the greatest reason we can trust it. In this conversation with Alexis Papazoglou, host of “The Philosopher and the News” podcast, Oreskes will discuss the manufacture and maintenance of trust, the pursuit of scientific knowledge and consensus across the 20th and 21st centuries, the changing conception of science from an individual to a social pursuit, and the reasons for and responses to science going awry.
Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. Her latest book, Why Trust Science?, is published in paperback in April. twitter.com/NaomiOreskes
Alexis Papazoglou is host of the podcast The Philosopher & The News. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Cambridge and writes on the intersection between philosophy, politics and current affairs. twitter.com/newsphilosophy