Public debate has been dominated by the belief that education builds human capital, causing increased income, health and political participation, among many positive outcomes. But new research suggests that costly expansions of education may not always bring the promised social results. In some cases, those expansions may do little but sort people according to their native ability.
By funding its own research, industry has raised unwarranted doubts about a range of scientific issues — from the risks of tobacco to the reality of climate change — delaying response to public dangers for decades. Can scientists and journalists learn to beat the doubt industry before our most serious problems beat us all?