Naomi Oreskes

Naomi Oreskes

Professor of the History of Science
Naomi Oreskes

Areas of Research: History of Environmental Sciences, Science Policy, Philosophy of Science, Science and Religion, STS, Technology and Society, Women and Gender Studies

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  She arrived at Harvard in 2013 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.

Select Publications

In the Media

Yes, ExxonMobil Misled the Public, LA Times, September 2017
What Exxon Mobil Didn't Say About Climate Change, The New York Times, August 2017
Assessing ExxonMobil's Climate Change Communications (177-2014), Environment Research Letters, August 2017
Scientists Dive Into the Political Fray, PBS Newshour, April 2017
How to Break the Climate Deadlock, Scientific American, November 2015
What Did Exxon Know?, On The Media, November 2015
The Pope and the Planet, The Open Mind, November 2015
Exxon's Climate Concealment, New York Times, October 2015
Naomi Oreskes, a Lightning Rod in a Changing Climate, New York Times, June 2015
A Chronicler of Warnings Denied, New York Times, October 2014
Merchants of Doubt, Documentary from Sony Pictures Classics, 2014
"Why We Should Trust Scientists," TED Talk, June 2014

The 2014 Vatican Environmental Summit:

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

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.

Contact Information