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Promising scientific consensus is a perilous principle on which to found meaningful engagement between experts and the public.
Terminator’s killer robots can help in the real debate on lethal autonomous weapons.
He's back! Any mention of the killer robots debate brings images of the Terminator film. But science fiction can be a useful tool to get people interested in the real issues in science.
More than 50% of Australians think drugs should be cleared for use before they’ve completed clinical trials.
Most Australians value science. But we do have some hesitations about the pace of scientific advances, and we're not sure if scientists are prestigious or not.
Oh please. There’s no wind on the moon.
Rational arguments and myth busting often won't help you change the mind of a conspiracy theorist. But there are other ways.
March for Science, Washington, D.C., April 29, 2017.
Why is it so hard to reach consensus about how to slow climate change? Multiple time lags get in the way: some make it hard to convey the risk, while others prolong the search for solutions.
Still from An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Eleven years after its release, An Inconvenient Truth, the iconic climate documentary, has spawned a sequel. But did the original do more harm than good by polarizing Americans on climate change?
ZZZZZZ…even the smartest scientists struggle to follow very dense science writing.
Science papers are supposed to be communication tools - and yet hardly anyone can understand them, even other scientists.
Former US Vice President and Chair of the Climate Reality Project Al Gore and Victoria’s climate and energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio (right) ride on a tram after speaking at the climate conference in Melbourne.
Taking inspiration from the spread of world religions, Quentin Atkinson and Shaun Hendy argue scientists need to do more to signal commitment to ideas they want to spread.
Science is a human approach to understanding the world.
Science provides a useful way to explore and understand the natural world. But it also has a richness, diversity and creativity that is often overlooked.
Are there other ways to get people to engage with climate change?
An experiment in getting people to care about climate change uses slick videos, charismatic scientists and calls to action.
Half of The Conversation’s audience reads us on their phone.
One of our academic authors recently commented that The Conversation has become “very mainstream in what it’s publishing”. It was a loaded comment, considering people increasingly distrust “the MSM”, sometimes…
Bioblocks, created for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.
Research is not just about producing papers.
The message might not come through if you put all your communication eggs in one theoretical basket.
Reports of facts' death have been greatly exaggerated. Effective communication jettisons the false dilemma in favor of a more holistic view of how people take in new information on contentious topics.
And don’t expect chocolate ice cream, either.
Millions of Americans believe brown cows produce chocolate milk? The way the media reported this factoid raises questions about science literacy – but different ones than you may think.
Interviewing scientists - shown here is physicist Louise Harra - is a skill that takes experience and in depth knowledge on the part of the journalist.
The number of specialist science journalists in Australia has dropped from around 35 to less than five over the period 2005-2017.
A shot of fake news now and your defenses are raised in the future?
Does science have an answer to science denial? Just as being vaccinated protects you from a later full-blown infection, a bit of misinformation explained could help ward off other cases down the road.
People seem to think industry-funded research belongs in the garbage.
Scientists need funding to do their work. But a new study finds turning to industry partners taints perceptions of university research, and including other kinds of partners doesn't really help.
A baby Hawaiian bobtail squid, measuring just 1.5cm across, is pictured using photomacrography.
Mark R Smith/Macroscopic Solutions
A better understanding of science among ordinary people validates the vast amounts of public funds spent on scientific research.
Will Bill Nye’s new show find a wider audience than Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’ did?
Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
Popular programming that focuses on science tends to not actually be all that popular. Bringing in new audiences who aren't already up to speed on science topics is a challenge.
Rhetoric can teach scientists how to effectively communicate what’s going on in the lab to the rest of us.
If you've only ever paired the idea of 'rhetoric' with 'empty,' think again. Rhetoricians of science have concrete techniques to share with researchers to help them communicate their scientific work.