Naomi Oreskes                                           

Professor of the History of Science and Director of Graduate Studies

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  She recently arrived at Harvard after spending 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Professor Oreskes’s research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent.

Her 2004 essay “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” (Science 306: 1686) has been widely cited, both in the United States and abroad, including in the Royal Society’s publication, “A Guide to Facts and Fictions about Climate Change," in the Academy-award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, and in Ian McEwan’s novel, Solar.  Her opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), Nature, Science, The New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine and elsewhere. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global warming, co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize, and received the 2011 Watson-Davis Prize from the History of Science Society.

In the Media

A Chronicler of Warnings Denied, NYTimes, 10/27/2014

The 2014 Vatican Environmental Summit:

"Why We Should Trust Scientists," TED Talk, 2014

Prof. Oreskes discusses her book, "The Collapse of Western Civilization..."

Select Publications

   Science and Technology in the Global Cold War, 2014
   (MIT  Press)



Collapse of Western Civilization Home Page

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, 2014 (Columbia University Press)


Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, 2010. (New York: Bloomsbury Press.)

Merchants of Doubt Home Page

Merchants of Doubt at the Toronto International Film Festival, September 9/10, 2014


 Merchants of Doubt at the 52nd New York Film Festival, October 8, 2014

Models in Environmental Regulatory Decision Making Whipple, Chris et al. (fourteen additional authors), 2007.
(Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology), 287 pp.

The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science, 1999. (New York: Oxford University Press).


Edited Volumes

Oreskes, Naomi, ed., with Homer E. Le Grand, 2001.  Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (Boulder: Westview Press), paperback edition February 2003.    

Edited Journal Volumes

Oreskes, Naomi and James R. Fleming, eds. 2000.  “Perspectives on Geophysics,” Special Issue of   Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 31B, September 2000.


Curriculum Vitae


  • HS 310hf:History of Science Salon