Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Science Denial

by Gary Niederhoff on November 12, 2018

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Science Denial
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Climate change isn’t happening. Vaccines make you sick. When it comes to threats to public or environmental health, a surprisingly large fraction of the population still denies the consensus of scientific evidence. But it’s not the first time – many people long resisted the evidentiary link between HIV and AIDS and smoking with lung cancer.

There’s a sense that science denialism is on the rise. It prompted a gathering of scientists and historians in New York City to discuss the problem, which included a debate on the usefulness of the word “denial” itself. Big Picture Science was there. We report from the Science Denial symposium held jointly by the New York Academy of Sciences and Rutgers Global Health Institute.

Find out why so many people dig in their heels and distrust scientific findings. Plus, the techniques wielded by special interest groups to dispute some inconvenient truths. We also hear how simply stating more facts may be the wrong approach to combating scientific resistance.

Live stream of the Science Denial: Lessons and Solutions conference.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: What is Science Denialism?
Part 2: Sheila Jasanoff / Denial or Distrust?
Part 3: Michael Dahlstrom / Science and Storytelling
Part 4: Allan Brandt / Manufacturing Doubt
Part 5: David Scheer / Science and Industry
Part 6: Matthew Nisbet / Framing Denialism
Part 7: Arthur Caplan / Scientists’ Responsibility
Part 8: Nancy Tomes / Convert Outreach

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avatar Richard December 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm

“Vaccines make you sick. – many people long resisted the evidentiary link between HIV and AIDS and smoking with lung cancer.”
But what has been slipped in with science denial? The customary “Climate change” of course.

Climate changes, that’s the big discovery of the 21st century, on par with the General Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Deny it and you deserve to be shot up, like the university office building of climatologist John Christy, or put in jail, as advocated by “scientists” like Bill Nye, or prosecuted for murder, as advocated by Mark Hertsgaard and other activists.

What is Climate Change aka Global Warming? Well, it’s man made for one thing, universally bad, and caused by mans sinful behaviour. Every hurricane, heat wave, drought and forest fire is a direct result of human-caused Climate change. Every cold wave and flood is also caused by it. How do we know? Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Meryl Streep tell us so.

We should abandon our cars and cities and go back to nature, with the lions, tigers and bears. Hug polar bears, instead of eating meat and pay our carbon taxes.
If only we could do that, the world would again be a Garden of Eden where only gentle breezes would blow, every fruit would be plentiful and there would be no wars, famines, diseases or unhappiness.

Several things we thought were “facts” have turned out to be untrue – humans had only one lineage, didn’t breed with Neanderthals or Denisovans, the Universe only consists of matter, mitochondria are inherited only from our mothers, but the great “theory” of Climate Change can never be refuted.

Everything changes, except for Climate Change. All hail the new great explanation for everything. How truly scientific.

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