Science and the public: Debate, denial, and skepticism

Stephan Lewandowsky, Michael E. Mann, Nicholas J.L. Brown, Harris Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

When the scientific method yields discoveries that imperil people’s lifestyle or worldviews or impinge on corporate vested interests, the public and political response can be anything but favorable. Sometimes the response slides into overt denial of scientific facts, although this denial is often claimed to involve “skepticism”. We outline the distinction between true skepticism and denial with several case studies. We propose some guidelines to enable researchers to differentiate legitimate critical engagement from bad-faith harassment, and to enable members of the public to pursue their skeptical engagement and critique without such engagement being mistaken for harassment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-553
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social and Political Psychology
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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