A Simple Goal:
Upcoming events >>
To follow up on Daniel Wilson's lecture, we will be discussing Science Fiction and the portrayal of science in the media. Scientists often complain about the portrayal of scientists as villains in sci-fi movie and the over-representation of fringe science in the news. To what extent is this truly a problem, and what can we as the scientific literate community do about it?
With regards to climate change, CMU Decision Science professor Baruch Fischhoff argues that climate scientists should use non-persuasive communication to educate the public about climate change and climate science. He argues that letting scientific facts speak for themselves, scientists will appear more trusted in the general public's view. Being advocates for their own research only harms the scientist's reputation, according to Fischhoff. The communication model he proposes can be generalized to other branches of science to properly communicate scientific arguments to the general public.
Scientists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson work to prove the public's perception of science and scientists, but most scientists are unable or unwilling to take time off from their research to improve public relations. Can scientists use science fiction and the current perception of scientists to properly educate the public about science and scientific research, or should they follow Fischhoff's method and let their work speak for itself?