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Alternative forms[edit]


Coined by Robert N. Proctor[1], deriving from the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις (ἄgnosis, not knowing), compare ἄγνωτος (ágnōtos), and -λογία (-logía).


agnotology (uncountable)

  1. The study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.
    • 2005, Robert Proctor, Londa L. Schiebinger, Agnotology: the making and unmaking of ignorance, page 6:
      Our interest here, though, is less in remediation than in what Nancy Tuana has called the "liberatory moment"—which brings us to a more subtle form of agnatology
    • 2014, Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste, page 225:
      Indeed, the think tanks and corporations that employ economists frequently explicitly seek to foster ignorance as part of their business plans: that is the postmodern phenomenon of agnotology.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Arenson, Karen W. (2006-08-22), “What Organizations Don't Want to Know Can Hurt”, in New York Times[1]