May 26, 2021

EP. 106 — Why Trust Science? with Naomi Oreskes

We know that not all American trust science. But why, exactly, should they, when scientists are fallible humans, just like the rest of us? Acclaimed science historian and author Naomi Oreskes is on the show this week to answer exactly that. Check out her new book, Why Trust Science?, at


FACT-106-20210520-NaomiOreskes-ACv02-ALT-DYN.mp3 Speaker 1 [00:00:02] Hello, welcome to Factually, I’m Adam Conover and this week; let’s talk about science. We hear all the time in the media that a lot of Americans don’t trust science and we’ve seen that during the pandemic; public health advice from some of the most experienced, knowledgeable scientists in the country was treated by many like a partisan football, with arguments erupting everywhere over whether those scientists are really trustworthy. The pandemic in many ways highlighted what seems to be a divide in how Americans view scientific expertise. And so a lot of people (especially in the media) started asking, ‘What do we do about that? How do we make people trust science?’ Well, you know what? I think that is the wrong question to ask. I don’t think we can treat science as just some authority figure that we must trust and we must bully other people into trusting. Instead, we need to

Recent Episodes

July 26, 2022

How can we best help animals, when it’s we humans who cause their suffering? Animal Crisis authors Alice Crary and Lori Gruen join Adam to explain how the same systems that hurt and kill animals also harm humans. They discuss the human rights abuses that happen in industrial slaughterhouses and how palm oil monocrops are devastating the world’s rainforests. They also share how we can have solidarity with animals in our daily lives. You can purchase their book at

July 19, 2022

In times of turmoil, it can be useful to take a longer view of history. Like, a LOT longer. Paleontologist and author of “The Rise and Reign of the Mammals” Stephen Brusatte joins Adam to explain how mammals took over the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago, and why we survived and achieve sentience when dinosaurs died out. Stephen goes on to discuss why taking a deep look at our history can help prepare us for the crises of the near future. You can purchase Stephen’s book at

July 13, 2022

Trans people have existed as long as, you know, people have. But the barriers to legal inclusion and equality are still higher than most people realize. “Sex is as Sex Does” author Paisley Currah joins Adam to discuss why institutions have been slow to give legal recognition to trans identities, why Republicans have shifted their attacks from bathroom policies to trans youth in sports, and why the struggle for trans equality is tied to feminism and women’s liberation. You can purchase Paisley’s book at