Asheley Landrum: "Negotiating Public Values When Communicating Controversial Science"
An Iowa City Darwin Day talk by Asheley Landrum, Assistant Professor of Strategic Science Communication at Texas Tech University.
One of the goals of research in the science of science communication is to determine when and why some groups of the public disagree with scientific consensus on certain issues, such as evolution and climate change. Many intuitively believe that the problem is one of knowledge: if the general public merely understood science information, then they would understand and accept the scientific consensus. This talk provides examples from research that demonstrate that the opposite can be true. That is, people seem to use their knowledge to better motivate and defend their preexisting viewpoints, leading more knowledgeable individuals to be even more polarized than the less knowledgeable ones. Given this, it is important to anticipate when public values will clash with scientific information, and instead of forcing people to choose between their deeply-held worldviews and accepting science, demonstrate, instead, how science can be compatible with their existing worldviews.
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