Internationally Renowned Author and Historian of Science Naomi Oreskes Visits Colorado State University

Note to Reporters: A photo of Naomi Oreskes is available with the news release at

Colorado State University and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability will host Monfort Professor-in-Residence Naomi Oreskes on May 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Her lecture, “When Knowledge Isn’t Power: Science, Technology, and the Environment in the 21st Century,” focuses on her research pertaining to how consensus and dissent are created in the science field.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged, but not required, at Attendees also are encouraged to tweet questions to Oreskes using the hash tag #CSUMonfort throughout the lecture.

Oreskes is a professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California-San Diego, as well as an adjunct professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Much of her research comes from her long-standing interest in how scientific consensus is established and the effect and creation of scientific dissent. Oreskes has been the recipient of many awards, her most recent being the 2011 Climate Change Communicator of the Year.

The problem of anthropogenic climate change has been the topic of most of Oreskes’s research for the past decade and has been widely cited in the United States and abroad.

In 2004, Al Gore cited her essay, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” in An Inconvenient Truth, leading to the publication of several opinion and editorial pieces across the country and contributing to a Congressional testimony in the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This work also was referenced in the Royal Society’s publication, “A Guide to Facts and Fictions about Climate Change,” and in Ian McEwan’s novel, Solar.

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, Oreskes’s most recent book, discusses the disconnect between how scientific debate is presented to the public and what it is actually saying. The book, co-authored by Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Much of her early work looked at the transformation of earth science in the 20th century. Other topics she has studied include the under-acknowledgement of women in science and the role of numerical simulation models in establishing knowledge about inaccessible natural phenomena.

Oreskes also is the author of Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth and The Rejection Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science. She is currently working on several projects including additional books funded by the National Science Foundation.

About the Monfort Professor-in-Residence Program
The Monfort Professor-in-Residence Program at Colorado State University is designed to bring accomplished individuals in business, government and the arts to campus from around the world. The program is funded through a $300,000 gift from the Monfort Excellence Fund. The Monfort Excellence Fund supports Monfort Scholars, Monfort Professors, Monfort Professors-in-Residence and the Monfort Lecture Series at CSU. The Monfort Excellence Fund has had a tremendous impact on Colorado State University students, faculty and the Northern Colorado community through its scholarships for exceptional students, its support of outstanding faculty and its public lectures delivered by international leaders.

About the School of Global Environmental Sustainability
The School of Global Environmental Sustainability is an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at Colorado State University. The school positions CSU to address the multiple challenges to global sustainability through broad-based research, curricular and outreach initiatives. Areas of emphasis include food security, poverty, inequality, water management strategies and desertification, globalization, industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, population growth and urbanization.