Grace Nosek

Study program:
PhD Law
Current affiliation:
University of British Columbia

Grace Nosek (law, University of British Columbia) researches legal tools to prevent corporations from deliberately undermining scientific evidence that threatens their profits, thus mitigating the harm that comes from manufactured doubt.


Defending Scientific Integrity: Harnessing the Power of Law to Protect Climate Change Science from Manufactured Doubt

Scholars have detailed how various companies, and even whole industries, have deliberately created uncertainty around science that threatens the profitability of their products. There is emerging evidence that members of the fossil fuel industry and their allies have manufactured uncertainty around the science of climate change for several decades. How can law, including litigation, legislation, and regulation, be used to prevent or mitigate this manufactured doubt around climate science?

As the danger of climate change increases, sound science will be ever more important to addressing that threat. Although industry efforts to undermine science can have profound and devastating consequences, they are often subtle and difficult to detect and regulate. For example, the tobacco industry undermined science for decades, causing untold harm, before its actions were fully recognized and exposed. It is critical to understand and assess the legal landscape of manufactured doubt. Grace’s research identifies what areas of law are implicated by or regulate this behavior. It further identifies and analyzes legal strategies for protecting climate science that can be applied by diverse stakeholders, including scientists, government actors, and non-profit organizations, in different government branches, and at varying levels of government.

Grace Nosek is currently pursuing her PhD in law at the University of British Columbia (UBC), studying how to use law to protect climate change science from manufactured doubt. She is fascinated by the intersection of law and story and focuses her research on how law can tell better stories in the pursuit of environmental and social justice. She holds a B.A. from Rice University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an LL.M from the University of British Columbia. She is a founding member and the Student Director of the UBC Climate Hub.

While at law school Grace co-authored a comprehensive policy report on reducing food waste from food date labels produced in partnership between the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Grace was named to Business Insider’s list, The 21 Most Impressive Students at Harvard Law School Right Now. After graduating from Harvard cum laude, Grace completed a Fulbright fellowship in Victoria, Canada. She studied government review of major natural resource development projects and published a paper on implementing Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Canada through Indigenous legal traditions. After completing an LL.M at UBC, Grace drew from her LL.M research to publish an article analyzing how climate advocates can construct their litigation in light of insights from psychological and framing theories to most effectively advance the climate movement. Grace has written and published three novels in a hopeful climate fantasy series, the Ava of the Gaia trilogy. She also created and hosts Planet Potluck, a podcast exploring stories of hope, joy, and community in the climate movement

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