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-David Prize from the History of Science Society.
In the Media
"Why We Should Trust Scientists," TED Talk, 2014
Prof. Oreskes discusses her book, "The Collapse of Western Civilization..."
- Soundcloud.com, Inquiring Minds Podcast, July 2014
- "On Point," National Public Radio, via Boston's WBUR, 7/19/2014
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.)
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).
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.