homebutton authorsbutton resourcesbutton keydocsbutton praisebutton faqbutton buybutton
For Merchants of Doubt


“[A] fascinating and important study...Merchants of Doubt deserves a wide readership. It is tempting to require that all those engaged in the business of conveying scientific information to the general public should read it.”—Science

“Oreskes and Conway paint an unflattering picture of why some scientists continue to stand against the overwhelming scientific consensus on issues at the center of public discussion.”—USA Today

“Anyone concerned about the state of democracy in America should read this book.”—Former Vice President Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth

“Sweeping and comprehensive… Oreskes and Conway do an excellent job of bringing to life a complex and important environmental battle… [a] darkly fascinating history… Merchants of Doubt is an important book. How important? If you read just one book on climate change this year, read Merchants of Doubt. And if you have time to read two, reread Merchants of Doubt.”—Grist

"...an important story about the misuse of science to mislead the public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality of global warming....This book deserves serious attention for the lessons it provides about the misuse of science for political and commercial ends.” Publishers Weekly, starred review.

“...meticulously researched and wonderfully written”Daily Kos

“This book about the politics of doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway explores the long, connected, and intentional obfuscation of science by manufactured controversy. It is clear, scientifically responsible, and historically compelling—it is an essential and passionate book about our times.”—Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University, author of Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps

“Brilliantly reported and written with brutal clarity… The real shocker of this book is that it takes us, in just 274 brisk pages, through seven scientific issues that called for decisive government regulation and didn't get it, sometimes for decades, because a few scientists sprinkled doubt-dust in the offices of regulators, politicians and journalists…Oreskes and Conway do a great public service.”—Huffington Post

“Naomi Oreskes and Erik N. Conway smoke out the Merchants of Doubt—Vanity Fair

“...impeccably researched.”—New Humanist

“With the carefulness of historians and the skills of master storytellers, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway lay out the sordid history of tobacco industry protectionists, who framed the debate as scientifically ‘unproven,’ gaining decades of market share for those merchants of death—who knew all along the risks of their products. Merchants of Doubt shows that some of the very same individuals were part of the plans to frame the climate change debate as unproven, using the same tried and true tactics…now all this chicanery is exposed for the deception it has been in Oreskes and Conway’s powerful and timely work.”—Stephen H Schneider, Professor, Stanford University, author of Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth’s Climate

“Scientists, it has long been assumed, are merchandisers of cold hard fact derived from careful reasoning and scrupulous inquiry...Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway reveal that sometimes something else comes into play: politics. Instead of clarifying the physical world for us, a cadre of scientists have worked to confuse the public in order to promote their own ideological beliefs, the authors write. The result is a merchandising of scientific doubt.”Washington Post

“Eye Opening”Patt Morrison, KPCC Radio

“As the science of global warming has grown more certain over the last two decades, the attack on that science has grown more shrill; this volume helps explain that paradox, and not only for climate change. A fascinating account of a very thorny problem.”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“...an important and timely book. Merchants of Doubt should finally put to rest the question of whether the science of climate change is settled. It is, and we ignore this message at our peril.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change

“Several previous works have ably illuminated similar themes, but this one hits bone...[Merchants of Doubt] provide[s] both the historical perspective and the current political insights needed to get a grip on what is happening now.”OnEarth

“A well-documented, pulls-no-punches account of how science works and how political motives can hijack the process by which scientific information is disseminated to the public.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Powerful.”The Economist

“An important book...The next time a friend or Fox News commentator or political candidate assaults you with the claim that "climate change isn't happening" or "isn't caused by human activities," you will recognize the source of their colossal misunderstanding. The good news is, honest science wins in the end. The bad news: The earth is heating up while this artificially heated debate rages, though Merchants of Doubt, if widely read, should help douse the media flames.”Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Well-researched and lucidly written.”Washington Times

“After enduring decades of inexplicably persistent news reports casting doubt on the fact that cigarettes cause lung cancer, pollution harms the planet, and nuclear weapons are extremely dangerous, one might be forgiven for wondering if the same mob of misguided mercenaries might be behind them all. As it turns out-according to the evidence assembled in Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming-they are.”Chronicle of Higher Education

“An important study about science and the media that informed citizens need to read.”Library Journal

“Excellent.”America Magazine

Merchants of Doubt might be one of the most important books of the year. Exhaustively researched and documented...what it has to say needs to be heard.”Christian Science Monitor

“In a hard-hitting new investigation, Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway report on the scientists prepared to distort the truth on the key issues of our time - from tobacco to climate change to coal fired power stations...The strength of the book is the rigour of the research and the in-depth focus on key incidents...We have for too long known enough to warrant action and this book reconfirms that there is no longer any excuse for delay.”The Ecologist

“In Merchants of Doubt, science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe how a small circle of influential and ideological US scientists paralysed policy action on various environmental and health issues, from the dangers of tobacco smoke to global warming...Merchants of Doubt is an impressive account of science's role in many key public issues of today.”Nature

Merchants is an impressive and disturbing piece of scholarship that does a good job of answering the questions [the authors] pose. It should be read by every editor and every member of Congress, and by climate scientists as well.”Climateprogress.org

“Well written, timely and provocative.”Skeptical Inquirer

“...a combination of thorough scholarly research and adept story telling...”Yale Forum on Climate Change

“Historians a thousand years from now may wonder what went wrong: How, after scholars had so thoroughly nailed down the reality of anthropogenic climate change, did so many Americans get fooled into thinking it was all a left-wing hoax? Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway give us some very good-if disturbing-answers in their fascinating, detailed and artfully written new book, Merchants of Doubt. There is much in this book to outrage anyone who cares about the future of the planet, human health, or scientific integrity.”American Scientist

“The eye-opener of the year.”Head Butler

“No mere summary or review could hope to do more than scratch the surface of the information contained in this book...Merchants of Doubt [is] so compelling that it cannot be dismissed with a mere "talk to the hand." The facts cannot be denied any longer - no free markets can address clearly market failures like acid rain and global warming, and ignoring reality only works for so long before reality finally does something that simply cannot be ignored.”Scholars and Rogues

“A 'must' for any science collection.”California Bookwatch

“If you really want to know why we have failed to act on climate change, read Merchants of Doubt.”BioScience

“[A] page-turner...”Sunday Times Must Reads

“With exhaustive detail Oreskes and Conway relate the history of how industries and special interests in the United States have confused the populace and government in order to protect profits and ideology at the expense of American's health and the quality of the environment.”San Francisco Book Review



For additional discussions of Merchants of Doubt see:

Climateprogress.org San Diego Union-Tribune The Guardian RIFuture.org
Washington Post
New Statesman LA Times Nature
CNN Opinion Yale Environment 360 KQED - Climate Watch Failure Magazine
Bob Edwards Show Science Progress Climate Science Watch Sustainable Business
Minnesota Public Radio Huffington Post Laguna Beach Independent