I received this pieces of correspondence from a science journalist, who puts the emminently reasonable question, So what do I, as science journalists, do to combat or avoid the forms of toxic polarization associated with cultural cognition? I offer a few leads in my response, but it occurred to me that the most likely way that Dieter would get a fully satisfying answer would be to invite the 14 billion (with Dieter, make that 14 billion & one) reader of this blog to weigh in.
So read read this earnest science journalist's note & give him your 2 cents worth (it's not much but it can really add up if anything close to all 14 billion of you reply).
Dear Mr. Kahan,
I'm a belgian science journalist working on a presentation about communicating about scientific topics that tend to polarize society (nuclear power, gmo's, vaccines,...). The public will mainly consist of scientists and science communicators.
While looking for information about this I came across your name and some of your research on cultural cognition and I must say it has been a real eye-opener. I'm one of those people who thought it is mainly about spreading the facts. And your research seems to imply this is all wrong. A question that has however so far remained unanswered, is what this means for my work as a science journalist. What can I do to get it right? What should the scientists themselves pay attention to? Could you be so kind to direct me to your papers that are most relevant for answering these questions?
Thanks in advance.
Kind regards, ...
Oh sure, ask me an easy question, why don't you?!
If you don't mind, I'm going to post your question on the CCP blog & see what the 14 billion regular subscribers have say.
But in the meantime, here are some relevant previous blog entries...Climate change & the media: what's the story? (Answer: expressive rationality)