How To Talk to a Science Denier: From climate change to COVID | How To Academy

Thu, 12 August 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT


How To Talk to a Science Denier: From climate change to COVID

Lee McIntyre In Conversation with Robin Ince

Science denial can kill. So how can we change people’s minds? At a time when science is under attack, this question has never mattered more.

If you met a science denier in person would you know what to say? Facts don’t convince people, so what does? After 20 years studying science denial from his desk, philosopher of science Lee McIntyre went on the road to talk to Flat Earthers, climate change deniers, and others, about their beliefs. He joins How To Academy to teach us how we can effectively argue with science deniers, and why it is so important to do so.

Drawing on academic research and his own experience—including attending a Flat Earth convention— McIntyre will outline the common themes of science denial, and offers tools and techniques for communicating the truth and values of science, emphasising that the best way to reach someone is through personal engagement, which fosters the possibility of building trust through empathy and respect. People are not convinced by facts; they are convinced by facts that are shared by people they trust.

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Lee McIntyre

Philosopher of Science, Boston University

Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. He is the author of Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human BehaviorPost-Truth, and The Scientific Attitude: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience, all published by the MIT Press.

Robin Ince

Comedian and co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Robin Ince is the co-presenter of Radio 4’s multiple award winning The Infinite Monkey Cage. He spent 2019 appearing across the world in the Universal tour with Brian Cox – travelling from LA to Oslo, Wellington to Aberdeen and ending up in Reykjavik after shows at the O2 and Wembley Arena. Robin co-wrote How to Build a Universe (part 1) with Brian Cox and authored other works including The Importance of Being Interested – Adventures in Scientific Curiosity, and his most recent book, Bibliomaniac: An Obsessive’s Tour of the Bookshops of Britain.