Science in a Fact-Free World: Applying Lessons from the COVID Crisis to Climate Communication
4:45 PM - 6:00 PM
Wed Oct 6, 2021
Virtual (times tentative)
Recorded Video: Watch video
CASW New Horizons in Science Video


ScienceWriters2021 is taking place as a virtual conference largely because, despite growing evidence about how COVID is spreading and how it can be stopped, many Americans have met expert advice with distrust, suspicion, and outright hostility. The same thing has been happening for years with climate, frustrating scientists, communicators, and policymakers. How can good science inform sound decision-making in a world permeated by the false notion that, as Isaac Asimov said, “democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”? The answer, says Katharine Hayhoe, lies in the social science of how we as humans interact with information. Research traces climate science denialism and vaccine resistance to a plethora of psychological, societal, political, and economic causes. She will share examples from her experience of how it is possible to bypass much of the he-said she-said stalemate in media and outreach activities, transitioning instead towards positive action based on a foundation of shared values and concerns.

Presented by:
Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

Katharine Hayhoe Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy

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