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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

GW: Professor Puts Spotlight on the Science of Deception

Dr. David Michaels, a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, has authored a book on how powerful, multinational corporations employ mercenary scientists to undermine scientific consensus and manufacture uncertainty. “The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception” takes a hard look at the practice from its origins in the 1950s to the science-for-hire practices of today.

In the book, Dr. Michaels demonstrates that the tobacco industry’s strategy of casting doubt on the extensive scientific evidence documenting the health risks linked to smoking is now widely used by today’s corporations when faced with questions about or allegations of harm raised about their products or activities. Rather than face up to or investigate these concerns, they hire consultants to question the evidence of harm and use this manufactured doubt to derail efforts to protect the public’s health and environment.

Dr. Michaels served as the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health in the Obama Administration. “The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception” was published in February and has received glowing reviews in Science, Nature, Undark, and elsewhere.

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