In recent times, we have seen an increased prevalence of fake
news with the public seeming to rely less on scientific evidence. How
should scientists respond to these concerning trends? Several decades of
research into climate science denial offers insights into the post-truth
phenomenon — which displays the same kind of motivated reasoning as
those who reject the scientific consensus on climate change. This talk will
examine the psychological research into science denial — why and how
do some people reject science and how might we respond?
John Cook is a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. He founded Skeptical Science, a website which won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge and 2016 Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. John co-authored the college textbook, Climate Change: Examining the Facts, with Weber State University professor Daniel Bedford. He was also a coauthor of the textbook, Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis, and the book, Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand. In 2013, he published a paper analyzing the scientific consensus on climate change that has been highlighted by President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. In 2015, he developed a Massive Open Online Course at the University of Queensland on climate science denial that has received over 25,000 enrollments.
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