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Trust Us We’re Experts: How Industry         

Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your



Fearless investigative journalists Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber are back with  Trust Us, We're Experts--a gripping exposé of the public relations industry and the  scientists who back their business-funded, anti-consumer-safety agendas. There are  two kinds of "experts" in question--the PR spin doctors behind the scenes and the  "independent" experts paraded before the public, scientists who have been hand  selected, cultivated and paid handsomely to promote the views of corporations  involved in controversial actions. Lively writing on controversial topics such as dioxin,  bovine growth hormone and genetically modified food makes this a real page-turner,  shocking in its portrayal of the real and potential dangers in each of these  technological innovations and of the "media pseudo-environment" created to  obfuscate the risks. Rampton and Stauber introduce the movers and shakers of the PR industry, from the  "risk communicators" (whose job is to downplay all risks) and "outrage managers"  (with their four strategies--deflect, defer, dismiss or defeat) to those who specialise  in "public policy intelligence" (spying on opponents). Evidently, these elaborate PR  campaigns are created for our own good. According to public relations philosophers,  the public reacts emotionally to topics related to health and safety and is incapable  of holding rational discourse. Needless to say, Rampton and Stauber find these views  rather antidemocratic and intend to pull back the curtain to reveal the real wizard in  Oz. This is one wake-up call that's hard to resist.  
I enjoyed reading this book very much, despite the fact it is over a decade, 2002 in fact, that it got  published. Since then, it kind of has been overtaken by other books exploring the same theme; most  notably Merchants of Doubt  and Doubt is their Product. Indeed, similar cases are mentioned in all the  books. However, what is very depressing about it all is that, despite this book being over a decade old, it is still  very relevant. Or in other words, and I doubt this comes as a massive surprise to anyone, nothing has  changed. In fact, either the topics are still being “discussed” by various types of experts funded by  industry (global warming for example, anyone ?!) or you can cut out examples and just replace them with  current discussions (suger in diet, anyone ?!) without changes the book. It really is quite sad, but if you are one of those people who says stuff (mainly in the Daily Mail comments  section) like “scientists always change their minds, and they cant agree on anything”....well here is your  answer. Have I learned anything from this book? I was already familiar with the arguments and I had heard about  most of the examples. However, what I did not know was that the term “junk science” was invented by  industry experts/PR people as an easy-to-understand and easy-to-communicate term for any science that  contradicts their argument. That’s good to know....it makes sifting through publications a lot easier! In conclusion, a bit outdated but still relevant, and interesting to read; causing anger along the way - 8/10.  
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