Friday 28th October, 2011
11:00am to 12:30pm
Chris Mooney: The Science Of Denial
We all know that people deny science and the facts constantly—on science-based issues like climate change and evolution, but also on resolvable issues in politics: where was the president born? Does the health care reform create death panels? Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction? Moreover, we know that when faced with the facts, people don't change their minds or let go of false ideas—quite the contrary, they often believe them more strongly than before. Such facts are rightly disturbing to scientists and skeptics, but there's a reason why they occur—and indeed, thanks to new advances in psychology and neuroscience, they can be scientifically explained. The implications for communication, and for persuasion, are profound. In this talk, Chris Mooney explores the science of why people deny science—and what science itself says about what we can do about it.
Ron Lindsay: Food Fears -- The Need For Appropriate Risk Assessment
Myths about the dangers of genetically modified plants affect not only public perception but public policy. Moreover, the model for risk assessment used by opponents of genetic modification, the Precautionary Principle, is deeply flawed. In his presentation, Ron Lindsay will not only critique myths about food production, but will defy death by consuming genetically modified food on stage.
Science journalist, @PointofInquiry host, author of The Republican War on Science, The Republican Brain, and other light reading (http://republicanbrain.com). bio from Twitter
President & CEO Center for Inquiry; humanist, philosopher, lawyer, Phillies fan bio from Twitter
Editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, a former editor of Science News, and a fellow of the AAAS
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