Den ofte oversete pointe i disse vise ord hedder confirmation bias, nemlig at vi gerne ser vores antagelser bekræftet. The Register havde for en del tid siden en foruroligende artikel om højre- og venstreorienteredes syn på klimavidenskab i forhold til deres generelle videnskabelige indsigt.
Thus, in a just-published US National Science Foundation-funded study, participants’ science knowledge and numeracy was tested and compared with levels of concern regarding climate change. The soft-studies profs were amazed, however, to find that as one moves up the scale of science knowledge and numeracy, people become more sceptical, not less.
According to the profs, this is not because the idea of imminent carbon-driven catastrophe is perhaps a bit scientifically suspect. Rather it is because people classed as “egalitarian communitarians” (roughly speaking, left-wingers) are always highly concerned about climate change, and become slightly more so as they acquire more science and numeracy. Unfortunately, however, “hierarchical individualists” (basically, right-wingers) are quite concerned about climate change when they’re ignorant: but if they have any scientific, mathematic or technical education this causes them to become strongly sceptical.
As scientific/tech knowledge and numeracy appears to be more common among “hierarchical individualists” than among “egalitarian communitarians”, this meant that in the sample as a whole the effect of more scientific knowledge and numeracy was to increase scepticism.
Undersøgelsen konkluderer derfor at man skal være varsom med at undervise i videnskabelig forståelse. I stedet stal regeringen lægge en anden kommunikationsstrategi med brug af “culturally diverse communicators”
Perfecting such techniques through a new science of science communication is a public good of singular importance.
Og det bekræftes i videnskaben!
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