Communicating Climate Science and Debunking Myths with "Sticky Science"

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Keynote presentation from the 2010 CLEAN Climate Complexities workshop

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<ul><li> 1. Communication &amp; Debunking withSticky ScienceJohn CookClimate Literacy and Environmental Awareness NetworkDate: 17 May 2012</li></ul> <p> 2. One Model of the Human Brain 3. A More Accurate Modelof the Human Brain 4. FamiliarityBackfire EffectDebunking a mythcan reinforce themyth in peoplesminds(Schwarz et al 2007) 5. Familiarity Backfire Effect 6. Familiarity Backfire Effect 7. Danger,Will Robinson!Approaching myth! 8. The Overkill Backfire Effect MYTH FACT FACT FACT FACT FACT FACT FACT FACT FACTMYTH FACT FACT FACTA simple myth is more cognitively attractivethan an over-complicated correction(Schwarz et al 2007) 9. The Overkill Backfire EffectMYTHFACTFACTFACTFACTA simple myth is more cognitively attractivethan an over-complicated correction(Schwarz et al 2007) 10. I didnt have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.MARK TWAIN 11. If you cant explain your physics to abarmaid, it is ERNSTprobably not veryRUTHERFORD good physics. 12. Another psychological pitfall 13. Create a GapMYTH Removing a myth leaves a gap 14. Fill the Gap FACTReplacewith alternativenarrative 15. Anatomy of an Effective Debunking 16. Anatomy of an Effective Debunking97 out of 100 climate experts agree humans are causing global warmingSeveral independent surveys find 97% of climate scientists who are actively publishing peer-reviewed climate research agree that humans are causing global warming. Core fact 17. Anatomy of an Effective Debunking97 out of 100 climate experts agree humans are causing global warmingSeveral independent surveys find 97% of climate scientists who are actively publishing peer-reviewed climate research agree that humans are causing global warming.Core factHowever, movements that deny a scientific consensus have always sought to cast doubt onthe fact that a consensus exists. One technique is the use of fake experts, citing scientists Warningwho have little to no expertise in the particular field of science. 18. Anatomy of an Effective Debunking97 out of 100 climate experts agree humans are causing global warmingSeveral independent surveys find 97% of climate scientists who are actively publishing peer-reviewed climate research agree that humans are causing global warming.Core factHowever, movements that deny a scientific consensus have always sought to cast doubt onthe fact that a consensus exists. One technique is the use of fake experts, citing scientists Warningwho have little to no expertise in the particular field of science.For example, the OISM Petition Project claims 31,000 scientists disagree with the scientificconsensus on global warming.Myth 19. Anatomy of an Effective Debunking97 out of 100 climate experts agree humans are causing global warmingSeveral independent surveys find 97% of climate scientists who are actively publishing peer-reviewed climate research agree that humans are causing global warming.Core factHowever, movements that deny a scientific consensus have always sought to cast doubt onthe fact that a consensus exists. One technique is the use of fake experts, citing scientists Warningwho have little to no expertise in the particular field of science.For example, the OISM Petition Project claims 31,000 scientists disagree with the scientificconsensus on global warming.MythHowever, around 99.9% of the scientists listed in the Petition Project are not climateAlternativescientists. The petition is open to anyone with a Bachelor of Science or higher and includesmedical doctors, mechanical engineers and computer scientists.Explanation 20. Fight stickyideas withstickier ideas. 21. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES 22. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES Simple 23. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES Simple Unexpected 24. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES Simple Unexpected Concrete 25. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible 26. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional 27. What makes an idea sticky?SUCCES Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Stories 28. The Curiosity Gap 29. The Curiosity Gap Generate curiosity by opening gaps in their knowledge then filling those gaps 30. Debunking MethodCreate a gap Fill the gap withwith the factsan alternativeexplanation 31. Debunking MethodCreate a gapFill the gap withwith the facts an alternative explanation Generating Curiosity Create a gapFill the gap to generatewith answers curiosityto questions 32. Example of a Debunking the earth quit warming and now wemay be in a cooling cycle. DANAROHRABACHE R 33. Simple 34. Simple Unexpected 35. Simple Unexpected Concrete 36. Simple Unexpected Concrete Story 37. http://sks.to/debunk http://sks.to/guide 38. John CookGlobal Change Institute, University of QueenslandWeb: http://www.skepticalscience.com</p>