Santa Fe Institute (SFI) will be holding the seminar “Punches and Hugs: What Hate Mail Has Taught Me About How To Communicate Science With The Public” with Christie Aschwanden at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, at Noyce Conference Room.
Abstract: Even in our age of science, irrational thinking and science denialism remain rampant. The “truth wins” assumption holds that when the truth is presented, it will be universally recognized, yet this isn’t always the case, as evidenced by ongoing controversies over issues such as vaccines and climate change. In this talk, I’ll discuss cognitive biases that lead people to reject scientific evidence and discuss strategies for overcoming them.
During my 17-year career as a journalist, I’ve received thousands of letters from readers. With insights culled from these letters, I’ve developed the Trifecta of Fury Theory, which predicts the kind of information that’s most likely to be greeted with hostility. I’ll discuss this theory, along with my “punches and hugs” approach to science communication that aims to lessen resistance to unwelcome messages.