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Science History Podcast

Sep 11, 2021

Uncertainty is inherent to science and exploited by those who wish to stymie regulations that would promote environmental quality and public health. Chemical companies, oil companies, tobacco companies, and many others, kept their products on the marketplace and promoted consumerism by stressing the unsettled nature of research. With us to explore this history, and how it relates to the environment and public health, is Mark Lytle. Mark is among those historians seeking to develop the field of “Environmental Diplomacy.” The author of The Origins of the Iranian-American Alliance, 1941-1953, he began his career as a student of American relations with Iran and the role of oil in postwar foreign policy. Since then, in his books America’s Uncivil Wars: The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon and The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement, he has focused on the history of the 1960s and environmentalism. His interest in history education inspired the writing with James West Davidson of After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection. His latest book is The All-Consuming Nation: Pursuing the American Dream Since World War II. In addition to his long tenure as a professor at Bard, he has taught at Yale, Vassar, and as the Mary Ball Washington Professor at University College Dublin.