agnotology

n.
The study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.
agnotological adj.
Example Citations:
The leaders of corporations and other institutions, it turns out, are not always hungry for more information.
Investigations can be costly. They can assign blame. They can uncover things that might give ammunition for lawsuits.
They may delve deep into assumptions made when a system was put together, which may be outdated or expensive to change.
Some technology watchers, such as Robert Proctor, a Stanford professor who specializes in the history of science and technology, said there is increasing resistance to investigating, even as instances that warrant digging seem to be climbing.
"There is a lot more protectiveness than there used to be," said Proctor, who is shaping a new field, the study of ignorance, which he calls agnotology. "It is often safer not to know."
—"What you don't want to know can hurt," Grand Rapids Press, August 27, 2006
Agnotology serves as a counterweight to traditional concerns for epistemology, refocusing questions about "how we know" to include questions about what we do not know, and why not. Ignorance is often not merely the absence of knowledge but an outcome of cultural and political struggle.
—Londa Schiebinger, "Feminist History of Colonial Science," Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, January 31, 2004
Earliest Citation:
In public health cases, historians are often asked to determine what industry officials knew and when did they knew it. That can mean assessing whether a particular hazard is "common knowledge." For example, how widespread is the knowledge that cigarette smoking is dangerous? Historians also provide evidence on whether a particular scientific claim is still an "open controversy." Whether the Atkins diet is healthful is today an open controversy; that is not the case with the dangers of tobacco or asbestos.
Mr. Proctor, who describes his specialty as "agnotology, the study of ignorance," argues that the tobacco industry has tried to give the impression that the hazards of cigarette smoking are still an open question even when the scientific evidence is indisputable. "The tobacco industry is famous for having seen itself as a manufacturer of two different products," he said, "tobacco and doubt."
—Patricia Cohen, "History for Hire In Industry Lawsuits," The New York Times, June 14, 2003
Related Words: Category:

New words. 2013.

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  • Agnotology — Agnotology, formerly agnatology, is a neologism for the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. The term was coined by Robert N. Proctor, [cite… …   Wikipedia

  • Agnotology — oder Agnotologie[1] bezeichnet als Wortschöpfung neueren Datums eine Forschungsrichtung, welche die kulturelle Erschaffung und Aufrechterhaltung von Unwissen untersucht. Ihr Erkenntnisgegenstand ist, wie Unwissen durch Manipulation, Unterdrückung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • agnotology — noun The study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data …   Wiktionary

  • Artificial controversy — An artificial controversy, or variously a contrived controversy, engineered controversy, fabricated controversy, manufactured controversy, or manufactroversy is a controversy that does not stem from genuine difference of opinion. The controversy… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert N. Proctor — Robert Neel Proctor (né en 1954) est un historien des sciences américain, professeur d Histoire des Sciences à la l Université Stanford[1]. Alors qu il était professeur à l Université d État de Pennsylvanie en 1999, il fut le premier historien à… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robert Neel Proctor — Robert N. Proctor Robert Neel Proctor (né en 1954) est un historien des sciences américain, professeur d Histoire des Sciences à la l Université Stanford[1]. Alors qu il était professeur à l Université d État de Pennsylvanie en 1999, il fut le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Londa Schiebinger — Londa L. Schiebinger (born 1952) is a leading international authority on gender and science. She is John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at… …   Wikipedia

  • Epistemology — (from Greek επιστήμη episteme , knowledge + λόγος , logos ) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. [Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Volume 3, 1967, Macmillan, Inc.] The term… …   Wikipedia

  • Junk science — is a term used in U.S. political and legal disputes that brands an advocate s claims about scientific data, research, analyses as spurious. The term conveys a pejorative connotation that the advocate is driven by political, ideological, financial …   Wikipedia

  • Fear, uncertainty and doubt — (FUD) is a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relationscite book | last = Harris | first = Rhonda | title = The Complete Sales Letter Book | publisher = Sharpe Professional | location = Armonk | year = 1998 | isbn =… …   Wikipedia

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