Persuading the unpersuadable: Communicating science to deniers, cynics, & trolls
Monday, February 11, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM (EST)
Woods Hole, MA
We've all faced the difficult task of writing or speaking about evolution, climate change, or any number of scientific topics that lack public understanding and unanimous support. In this session, Melanie and Cara will bring their combined experience in social/cognitive/personality psychology and persuasion/science communication to the table while we discuss the best practices for persuading science deniers without turning them off from the conversation. Other topics include how to tell the difference between ignorant-yet-innocent commenters and trolls, whether or not some people are simply beyond reach, how to effectively communicate with difficult-to-reach people, and if & when the "no apologies" approach to science communication is an effective strategy.
Questions to discuss:
How can we persuade science deniers without turning them off from the conversation?
What can social, cognitive, & personality psychology teach us about science denialism?
How do you differentiate between innocent ignorance, curiosity, and trolling?
Are some people simply beyond reach? What can persuasion psychology teach us about reaching the unreachable?
Is it effective to take the "no apologies" approach, or do we end up simply preaching to the choir?
How can we use "persuasion tricks" to effectively get scientific messages across to a stubborn audience?
When & Where
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans' role in the changing global environment.