Science + Science Writing: When ideology or special interests hijack science topics

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Science + Science Writing: When ideology or special interests hijack science topics

What's a science writer to do when ideologues or economic and political interests construct narratives that "hijack" discussions of science-based policy issues? How to report accurately on public questions when belief and misinformation swamp evidence and scientific consensus? Climate change is probably the most publicized example, with religious, economic and political concerns contending against scientific conclusions for the public's attention and concurrence. But the same dynamic also plays out in other issues. In this session, two journalists who write about such "hijacked" policy questions, GMO foods and the science talent "shortage," will describe the challenges they face in providing accurate coverage. A cognitive scientist who studies the effects of various communication strategies on public understanding of climate change will offer guidance on effective ways of conveying the truth amid such controversies.

Social media hashtag: #HijackedStories

Time:
Monday, October 28th, 12:50 pm to 1:50 pm
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Location:
Nittany Lion Inn
Speaker(s):
John Cook
  Research assistant professor, George Mason University
Tamar Haspel
  Freelance writer
Moderator(s):
Beryl Benderly
  Freelance journalist and author
Organizer(s):
Beryl Benderly
  Freelance journalist and author