Trust Us, We're Experts

Last updated

Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future is a book written by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber. [1] [2] [3] It is published by Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc. of the Penguin Group. The book focuses on the role experts hired by public relations firms play in quieting public fear with inaccurate or incomplete information when dangerous toxins from industrial processes are released into the environment. [4] [5]


An April 2001, Village Voice's review of the book says the book is "exhaustively detailed", "calmly convincing", and "light on rhetoric", warning readers that the book may induce "paranoid fatalism" about corporate manipulations. [6] [7] Bill Moyers of PBS said "If you want to know how the world wags, and who's wagging it, here's your answer. Read, get mad, roll up your sleeves, and fight back. Rampton and Stauber have issued a wake-up call we can't ignore."

See also

Related Research Articles

The expression junk science is used to describe scientific data, research, or analysis considered by the person using the phrase to be spurious or fraudulent. The concept is often invoked in political and legal contexts where facts and scientific results have a great amount of weight in making a determination. It usually conveys a pejorative connotation that the research has been untowardly driven by political, ideological, financial, or otherwise unscientific motives.

John Stauber is an American progressive writer. Stauber has co-authored five books about government propaganda, private interests and the public relations industry. His work includes one book about how industry manipulates science, one about the history and current scope of the public relations industry, and one about mad cow disease, which predicted the surfacing of the disease within the United States.

Sheldon Rampton

Sheldon Rampton is an American editor and author. He was editor of PR Watch, and is the author of several books that criticize the public relations industry and what he sees as other forms of corporate and government propaganda.

Spin (propaganda) A form of propaganda in public relations and politics

In public relations and politics, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through knowingly providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to influence public opinion about some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may manage their presentation of facts, "spin" often implies the use of disingenuous, deceptive, and manipulative tactics.

Rendon Group

The Rendon Group is a public relations firm headed by John Rendon.

Edward Bernays

Edward Louis Bernays was an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, referred to in his obituary as "the father of public relations". Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life. He was the subject of a full length biography by Larry Tye called The Father of Spin (1999) and later an award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC by Adam Curtis called The Century of the Self.

The Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change is a statement made in 1995, seeking to refute the fact that there is a scientific consensus on the global warming issue. It was issued in an updated form in 1997 and revised again in 2005, claiming to have been signed by 80 scientists and 25 television news meteorologists while the posting of 33 additional signatories was pending verification that those 33 additional scientists still agreed with the statement. All versions of the declaration, which asserts that there is no scientific consensus about the importance of global warming and opposes the recommendations of the Kyoto Protocol, were penned by Fred Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

Media manipulation is a series of related techniques in which partisans create an image or argument that favours their particular interests. Such tactics may include the use of logical fallacies, psychological manipulations, outright deception (disinformation), rhetorical and propaganda techniques, and often involve the suppression of information or points of view by crowding them out, by inducing other people or groups of people to stop listening to certain arguments, or by simply diverting attention elsewhere. In Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes, Jacques Ellul writes that public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication – without which there could be no propaganda. It is used within public relations, propaganda, marketing, etc. While the objective for each context is quite different, the broad techniques are often similar.

Citizens for a Free Kuwait (CFK) was an astroturf operation established by the Kuwaiti government to persuade the American public to look favourably on US military action in the Persian Gulf. Its principal payment was to public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, who were associated with the false testimony to the US Congress given by Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ.

The NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, is an award given since 1975 by the Public Language Award Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English. It is awarded annually to "writers who have made outstanding contributions to the critical analysis of public discourse."

Corporate media

Corporate media is mass media production, distribution, ownership, and funding dominated by corporations and their CEOs. Characterizations of mainstream media as "corporate" may be pejorative insinuations that such media systems do not serve the public interest.

<i>How to Win Friends and Influence People</i>

How to Win Friends and Influence People is a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. Over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. In 2011, it was number 19 on Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential books.

Propaganda, an influential book written by Edward L. Bernays in 1928, incorporated the literature from social science and psychological manipulation into an examination of the techniques of public communication. Bernays wrote the book in response to the success of some of his earlier works such as Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and A Public Relations Counsel (1927). Propaganda explored the psychology behind manipulating masses and the ability to use symbolic action and propaganda to influence politics, effect social change, and lobby for gender and racial equality. Walter Lippman was Bernays' unacknowledged American mentor and his work The Phantom Public greatly influenced the ideas expressed in Propaganda a year later. The work propelled Bernays into media historians' view of him as the "father of public relations."

The Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) is a non-profit think tank working on social and lifestyle issues. It is based in Oxford, but is not part of, and has no relationship to, Oxford University.

Dennis Teel Avery was the director of the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute, where he edited Global Food Quarterly. He died on June 20, 2020, at the age of 83.

Most textbooks date the establishment of the "Publicity Bureau" in 1900 as the start of the modern public relations (PR) profession. Of course, there were many early forms of public influence and communications management in history. Basil Clarke is considered the founder of the public relations profession in Britain with his establishment of Editorial Services in 1924. Academic Noel Turnball points out that systematic PR was employed in Britain first by religious evangelicals and Victorian reformers, especially opponents of slavery. In each case the early promoters focused on their particular movement and were not for hire more generally.

Psychological manipulation Form of Manipulation

Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through indirect, deceptive, or underhanded tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative and devious.

The following is a list of public relations, propaganda, and marketing campaigns orchestrated by Edward Bernays.

Since the end of the 20th century, propaganda has evolved significantly. Today's propaganda is characterised by psych-ops and disinformation, whereas a few decades ago it was dominated by posters and simple films.

Pete Stauber

Peter Allen Stauber is an American politician, former professional hockey player, and retired police lieutenant serving as the United States Representative for Minnesota's 8th congressional district. He was elected to his seat in November 2018. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a St. Louis County, Minnesota Commissioner from 2013 to 2019.


  1. Bauerline, Monica (January 2001). "Trust Us, We're Experts! How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future (book review)". Mother Jones.
  2. Jensen, Derrick (8 April 2001). "Would We Lie to You? (book review)". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. Honan, Daniel (8 February 2001). "THE 'MEDIA SPINDUSTRIAL COMPLEX' HOW INDUSTRY BENDS, SHAPES NEWS AND PUBLIC OPINION (book review)". Hartford Courant. ProQuest   256403842.
  4. Rosenberg, Paul (4 February 2001). "All's safe in twists of public relations experts Authors decry manipulation to downplay dangers (book review)". Denver Post.
  5. Keaney, Patrick (5 March 2010). "Trust us, we're experts (opinion column)". National Post. ProQuest   330899300.
  6. village voice
  7. Chisun, Lee (7 April 2001). "The flack catchers (book review)". Village Voice. ProQuest   232233625.