Well-heeled American corporations have long had a financial stake in undermining scientific consensus and manufacturing uncertainty. In The Triumph of Doubt, former Obama and Clinton official David Michaels details how corrupt science becomes public policy—and where it's happening today.
Opioids. Concussions. Obesity. Climate Change. America is a country of everyday crises—big, long-spanning problems that persist despite their toll on the country's health. And for every case of government inaction on one of these issues, there is a set of familiar, doubtful refrains: The science is unclear. The data are inconclusive. Regulation is unjustified. It's a slippery slope. Is it?
The Triumph of Doubt traces the ascendance of science-for-hire in American life and government, from its origins in the tobacco industry in the 1950s to its current manifestations across government, public policy, and even professional sports. Amid fraught conversations of "alternative facts" and "truth decay," The Triumph of Doubt wields its unprecedented access to shine a light on the machinations and scope of manipulated science in American society. It is an urgent, revelatory work, one that promises to reorient conversations around science and the public good for the foreseeable future.