Manufacturing Uncertainty: The Climate Denial Machine

Rachel Shwom (Human Ecology) and
Robert Kopp (Earth and Planetary Sciences)

If 97% of scientists agree climate change is happening and caused by
humans, why do so many members of the public doubt the existence
or seriousness of climate change? This seminar will focus on identifying
where climate sciences’ certainties and uncertainties do exist alongside
the cutting edge social science research on how climate science has been
politicized and made uncertain in the U.S. Students will read research
articles that document the consensus on climate change science and the
rise of skeptical scientists and business leaders. They will learn about the
claims climate denialists make about climate change science and the think
tanks and corporations that employ them. Students will also do research
to find their own examples of the media coverage that drives public
perceptions of climate change science. To gain understanding of how
climate skeptics think, students will interview a skeptical member of the
public. By participating in this seminar, students will gain an understanding
of how climate science is conducted and the political context in which it is
produced and disseminated in.

Course Number: 
11:090:101 section 20 index 13267