n. The deliberate production of information or ideas that create ignorance or unwarranted doubt.
Doubt merchants aren’t pushing for knowledge, they’re practicing what Proctor has dubbed “agnogenesis” — the intentional manufacture of ignorance.
—Christie Aschwanden, “There’s No Such Thing As 'Sound Science',” FiveThirtyEight, December 06, 2017
In the case of GMO and climate change concerns, opponents often twist facts, stressed two presenters. Erik Conway, co-author of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, noted that there's even a word (which he did not coin) for manufacturing of fake knowledge—"agnogenesis."
—Jon Cohen, “Why fighting anti-vaxxers and climate change doubters often backfires,” Science, February 13, 2016
The beauty is that the economics profession as a corporate entity need not consciously will the resulting manufacture of doubt. Just add the reflex conservatism which kicks in with cognitive dissonance, and we have a perfect prescription for agnogenesis.
—Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, Verso Books, July 09, 2013
2004 (earliest)
Tobacco Institute President Horace Kornegay in a 1972 article in the Institute's Newsletter claimed it was "impossible 'to separate evidence from evangelism' in the cigarette controversy". Historians have been employed to elaborate on this confusion, to make it seem real, by certifying as honest the endurance of doubts that the industry itself was busily helping to produce. I call this agnogenesis, the deliberate production of ignorance or doubt, the proper study of which is agnotology.
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