Posting mostly for the newly minted Agnatology and Agnatologist, but it’s interesting to consider this as a field unto itself.
Agnotologists will investigate and teach the dark arts of denial and disinformation—how big data, graphs and figures, and digital communication technologies can all be used to challenge independent scientific research findings. Students will learn how various tools (such as academic experts, public relations firms, and lawyers) and arguments (such as “the problem is too complex” or “there are bigger contributors to the problem”) are used across industries (including by pharmaceutical, tobacco, and fossil fuel companies) and understand how to recognize common patterns of denial. When these students encounter a pro-genetic modification “grassroots group,” they may recall how since the ’90s, major pesticide and herbicide manufacturers have paid public relations firms to create these groups, and what appears to be grassroots might actually be astroturf—when the world’s most popular climate activist is a teenager from Sweden, a German teen can easily be fashioned into an “Anti-Greta” and push against “climate alarmism.”
Unfortunately the article is thin on useful content, but links to a pretty good article in Science: