Liberty and the pursuit of science denial

Stephan Lewandowsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Any strategy to mitigate climate change will have economic and political implications that are incompatible with libertarian ideals of free markets. These political implications have created an environment of rhetorical adversity in which disinformation is systematically disseminated by a variety of politically and economically motivated actors who seek to delay or defang climate policies. I review the strategies of climate denial and how they fit within an historical arc ranging from denial of the adverse health effects of tobacco to the denial of facts and policies involving the COVID-19 pandemic. I review communicative countermeasures and conclude by pointing to the necessity to examine whether science denial is a necessary implication of libertarianism or whether it can be reframed to become an ally in climate mitigation and public-health policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Early online date10 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2021

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science
  • Memory


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