Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of deliberate, culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, typically to sell a product or win favour, particularly through the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. More generally, the term also highlights the condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before.
Active causes of culturally-induced ignorance can include the influence of the media, corporations and governmental agencies, through secrecy and suppression of information document destruction, and selective memory. Another example is climate denial , whereoil companies paid teams of scientists to downplay the effects of climate change. Passive causes include structural information bubbles , including those created by segregation along racial and class lines, that create differential access to information.
Agnotology also focuses on how and why diverse forms of knowledge do not “come to be,” or are ignored or delayed. For example, knowledge about plate tectonics was censored and delayed for at least a decade because some evidence remained classified military information related to undersea warfare.
Agnotology has always been present, but it is transforming. Now, the goal is no longer to create ignorance, because there is little to no preoccupation in public media with determining the validity of knowledge.
Under agnotology 2.0, truth becomes a moot point. It is the sensation that counts. Public & social media leaders and influencers create an impact with whichever arguments they can muster based in whatever fictional data they can create.