Did you know there are “product defense” firms whose primary mission is to confuse the public for financial gain? These companies spread doubt about scientific findings so that tobacco companies can sell more cigarettes (which cause cancer), fossil fuel companies can delay climate action (to sell more oil), pharmaceutical companies can keep dangerous drugs on the market longer (to extend profits), and more. Every time a large financial interest is threatened by knowledge, these PR firms step up to the plate and do their bidding.
This tells us something important about the science of social change — namely that what we DON’T know about something is part of the power politics of society. Continue reading “The Power Politics of Ignorance” »