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Manufacturing Doubt: Journalists' Roles and the Construction of Ignorance in a Scientific Controversy
Unformatted Document Text:  journalists' responses to these tactics. From a research standpoint, much remains to be done. In our case study alone, we have yet to explore in depth the lay-expert knowledge divide that was central to the early dismissal of the claims of the Concerned Citizens of Tillery, and that subsequently played a role in industry’s efforts to discredit the science in the eyes of the public. We have yet to delineate the interlocking interests and activities of the web of actors in this case, interests and activities that may say a lot about which claims ultimately become visible in the media and placed on the public's agenda. Conceptual and empirical linkages between Proctor’s work on the construction of ignorance by tactics that inhibit science and Smithson’s notions of ignorance arrangements also need to be made. Our study, too, is limited in that it provides but a snapshot of one industry’s efforts at one moment in time to undermine research that threatened its economic interests. We call upon investigators who have interests in building theory that has practical implications to join us in these efforts to document the various ways that actors work intentionally to construct scientific ignorance and to obscure what the public needs to know. Acknowledgements The authors would like to express their appreciation to the many individuals who generously shared their time in lengthy interviews for this research; to David Weaver for review and comments on an early draft; to the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Bureau of Media Research of the School of Journalism at Indiana University-Bloomington for travel and other funding assistance; and to Grace Carpenter of the School of Journalism for typing transcripts of interviews.

Authors: Stocking, S. Holly. and Holstein, Lisa.
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journalists' responses to these tactics. From a research standpoint, much remains to be done. In
our case study alone, we have yet to explore in depth the lay-expert knowledge divide that was
central to the early dismissal of the claims of the Concerned Citizens of Tillery, and that
subsequently played a role in industry’s efforts to discredit the science in the eyes of the public.
We have yet to delineate the interlocking interests and activities of the web of actors in this case,
interests and activities that may say a lot about which claims ultimately become visible in the
media and placed on the public's agenda. Conceptual and empirical linkages between Proctor’s
work on the construction of ignorance by tactics that inhibit science and Smithson’s notions of
ignorance arrangements also need to be made. Our study, too, is limited in that it provides but a
snapshot of one industry’s efforts at one moment in time to undermine research that threatened
its economic interests. We call upon investigators who have interests in building theory that has
practical implications to join us in these efforts to document the various ways that actors work
intentionally to construct scientific ignorance and to obscure what the public needs to know.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to express their appreciation to the many individuals who generously shared their time in
lengthy interviews for this research; to David Weaver for review and comments on an early draft; to the Office of
the Vice President for Research and the Bureau of Media Research of the School of Journalism at Indiana
University-Bloomington for travel and other funding assistance; and to Grace Carpenter of the School of
Journalism for typing transcripts of interviews.


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