News Release

“Corporate Junk Science” in Capitol Spotlight

The House Committee on Science and Technology is breaking new ground this afternoon with a hearing titled “Shaping the Message, Distorting the Science: Media Strategies to Influence Science Policy.”

The following policy analysts are available for interviews:

SHELDON RAMPTON
Rampton, research director for the non-profit Center for Media and Democracy, is testifying at today’s hearing on Capitol Hill. He has conducted years of research into deliberate industry efforts to manipulate the news media, public opinion and public policy on scientific issues ranging from the effectiveness of drugs to the reality of global warming. Rampton is co-author of several books including Trust Us We’re Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future.

Rampton’s opening remarks are posted online at Center for Media and Democracy. In his testimony, he asserts: “The manipulation of science for public relations or political advantage inevitably has a corrupting effect on science itself. It undermines the integrity and objectivity of scientific research. It creates confusion in the minds of policymakers and the general public. What is needed, therefore, is greater public transparency regarding the sponsorship of science and of organizations that speak on scientific matters.”

TOM JACKSON
Jackson is the director and writer of the new documentary film “Out of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change.” He said today: “As long as a significant percentage of the public remains confused about climate change — or worse yet, convinced that it is some kind of hoax — far too little will be done to try to avoid the catastrophic changes that will come about from unchecked carbon emissions.

“ExxonMobil continues to fund and foster confusion over climate change. They were recently exposed for funding the American Enterprise Institute, which offered $10,000 to scientists who would contradict the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report. ExxonMobil tries to defend its actions by saying it doesn’t tell groups like AEI what to do, as if ExxonMobil doesn’t know what it will get for its investment!

“ExxonMobil has been the spearhead of a misinformation campaign for about 10 years. It’s obviously to their benefit if the public remains confused about the human impact on the climate. As long as significant changes in energy policy and use are avoided, ExxonMobil continues to make record profits. Their latest line is ‘let’s talk about climate change,’ giving the impression that they’ve become more open-minded. However, keeping the issue confined to ‘talk’ is what ExxonMobil wants — all talk and no action.”
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