I finished Oreskes’s well-reasoned book with the feeling that it didn’t fully address the febrile conditions that incubate contemporary knowledge. We regularly hear that elites and experts have lost the public’s trust, but what kinds of experts? Plumbers, doctors and nurses are trusted but they are different to scientists – they deal with immediate reality, and with human bodies that feel. Part of what threatens the monopoly that scientists once enjoyed over representing our world is the way that politics and science have become inseparable in an age of climate breakdown. For sceptics, it’s easier to deny reality than face up to the sweeping political changes that a warming planet makes necessary.