How should scientists respond to science denialism?? John Cook explains @ConversationEDUen

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Inoculating against science denial

John Cook, The University of Queensland

Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to vaccination denial, preventable diseases are making a comeback.

Denial is not something we can ignore or, well, deny. So what does scientific research say is the most effective response? Common wisdom says that communicating more science should be the solution. But a growing body of evidence indicates that this approach can actually backfire, reinforcing people’s prior beliefs.

When you present evidence that threatens a person’s worldview, it can actually strengthen their beliefs. This is called the “worldview backfire effect”. One of the first scientific experiments that observed this effect dates back to 1975.

A psychologist from the…

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4 thoughts on “How should scientists respond to science denialism?? John Cook explains @ConversationEDUen

  1. Denialism(?) applies across the board, perhaps.
    Many believe that the science supporting global warming alarmist is less than robust, and that is putting it mildly!
    Therefore it is equally valid to apply the very same question to those scientists who fail to apply traditional scientific principles and accept a hypothesis that fails in so many ways.
    To suggest that the scientists who question aspects of alarmist global warming represents a psychological issue causing harm to others, brings up yet another question, as to who is doing the most harm?
    Further, who in fact, are the real, genuine scientists?
    With due respects, a so-called denialist that denies nothing except John Cook’s accusations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Couldn’t agree with you more Ken. Authoritative opinion is what gives both of these illegitimate and irrational entities power. As illegitimate and irrational authority obfuscation and misinformation is necessary to keep the boat afloat. Consciously manufactured propaganda has persuaded regulatory and public opinion of their value and to maintain power it is necessary that this authority remain insulated from outside evaluation by objective measurable scientific judgment because the entire systems are based on assumptions that can be aptly characterized as “illusions.”

      The dogmatic statements and generalizations do not conform to reality. Everything is adapted to an existing stagnant cognitive system that falls far off the map of the scientific approach to information and evidence base. Perceiving only confirmation that embodies and expresses preconceived ideas, values and mentalities based on certitude and absolute truth.

      Liked by 2 people

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