Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt traces the ways the tobacco industry obfuscated the dangers of smoking. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities, yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change.
The screening was followed by a Q&A with discussants:
Jennifer Ouellette, author of 4 popular science books, and science blogger for Scientific American.
Erik Conway, co-author of Merchants of Doubt.
This film kicks off the Sustainable Science Communication Conference, all day at Corwin Pavilion, Thursday May 14. See http://sustech.ucsb.edu/sustainable-science-communication-conference for more details.
This event is co-sponsored by the Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainability; The Arthur N. Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication, in the Department of Communication; The Carsey-Wolf Center; and The Anthropocene, Views from the Humanities presented by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to screening documentaries from across the world that engage with contemporary and historical issues, especially regarding social justice and environmental concerns. Documentaries allow filmmakers to address pressing issues and frame the critical debates of our time.