Skeptic Check: Science Denial
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.
- Melanie Brickman Borchard – Director of Life Sciences Conferences at New York Academy of Sciences
- Nancy Tomes – professor of history at Stony Brook University
- Allan Brandt – professor of history of science and medicine at Harvard University. Author of “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America”
- Sheila Jasanoff – Director of Program on Science, Technology and Society and professor of environment, science and technology at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
- Michael Dahlstrom – Associate Director of Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, and associate professor at Iowa State University
- Matthew Nisbet – professor of communication and public policy at Northeastern University
- Arthur (Art) Caplan – professor and founding head of medical ethics at NYU School of Medicine