Andy Revkin did a cool interview of Nobel Prize winning physicist Murray Gell-man, who thinks people are dumb b/c they don't get climate change.
Andy's post asks (in title): Can Better Communication of Climate Science Cut Climate Risks?
My response to Andy's question:
Answer is no & yes.
No, if "better communication of science" means simply improving how the content of sound scientific information is specified & transmitted.
Yes, if "better communication" means creating a deliberative environment that is protected from the culturally partisan cues that have poisoned the discussion of climate change.
2. a dude who hasn't finished high school is 50% likely to answer "yes" if asked whether antibiotics kill viruses (NSF science literacy questeion) but has no problem whatsoever figuring out that he should go to a Dr. when he has strep throat & take the pills that she prescribes for him.
People are really super amazingly good at figuring out who the experts are and following their advice. That skill doesn't depend on their having expert knowledge or having that knowledge "communicated" to them in terms that would allow them to get the science. But it can't work in a toxic communication environment.
1. The climate change problem doesn't have anything to do with how scientists communicate. It has everything to do with how cultural elites talk about science.
p.s. Can you please interview Freeman Dyson, too?