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 this landmark book, Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength — and the greatest reason we can trust it, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Tracing the history and philosophy of science from the late 19th century to today, Oreskes explains that, contrary to popular belief, there is no single scientific method.
Rather, the trustworthiness of scientific claims derives from the social process by which they are rigorously vetted. This process is not perfect, but she draws vital lessons from cases where scientists got it wrong. Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy.