Empathy is needed to understand and combat science skepticism.
Instead of assuming that science skeptics are motivated by ignorance, or selfishness, we should listen to them and try to understand and address their actual concerns.
It can be difficult to distinguish between the calls of sincere scientists for more research to reach greater certainty, and the politically motivated criticisms of science skeptics.
Skeptics may make demands for absolute certainty to undermine science and delay action. Critiques may not be in the interest of advancing science and public health, but by someone with an agenda.
If you’re convinced Nessie’s real, would science unconvince you?
AP Photo/Norm Goldstein
If you’re committed to a belief, it’s hard to let go. Psychology and philosophy provide different ways to think about how skeptics respond to counterevidence.
So many voices but who should you listen to in any debate on science matters?
Modern science can be difficult or complex for one person to understand and verify, especially a non-scientist. So who should we believe when scientific evidence is met with denial?
How can you navigate a world full of outlandish claims?
Forensic scientists are trained to disprove claims. This sort of thinking is useful when you’re trying to make sense of “miracle cures”, “wonder drugs” and other fantastic claims.
Electricity is only one of the marvels brought to us by science. But even that’s not enough to convince some of its value.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty’s new book explores why so many people today selectively reject science, and in the process gives a behind the scenes look at how science really works.
Science denial can come in many forms, but you need to be careful when debunking it.
Debunking science denial in the wrong way can end up reinforcing it. Here’s how to cut through make the facts stick.
The truth is out there.
Debunking myths requires an understanding of the psychological research into misinformation. But getting your refutation out in front of lots of eyeballs is a whole other matter. Here, I look at two contrasting…