In Al Gore’s movie “an inconvenient truth”, he mentions something that I found intruiging: although most, if not all, articles published in scientific journals in the last years on global warming seem to be in agreement that global warming is at least partially due to human causes, a large percentage of the population strongly believes that scientists are still much divided on this issue. Gore based his statement, amongst others, on research done by Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California in San Diego. In 2004, she published a fascinating article in the magazine Science, titled Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change , that I highly recommend.
This podcast is a segment of a talk given by Naomi on Stanford campus this last April. In it, she introduces this topic and summarizes her findings. To me, her work and that of others, shows clearly how difficult it is to disseminate research findings to the general public in a convincing manner, especially when the media is influenced by lobby groups with other interests.