Science Literacy and Cultural Polarization

The capacity of citizens to make sense of climate change and other risk issues depends at least in part on their knowledge of science and their ability to engage in technical reasoning. Perversely, however, citizens who are the most proficient in these forms of critical reasoning have been shown to be the most most polarized on culturally contested risks. This aim of this project is to identify the conditions that create this tragic conflict between civic science comprehension and constructive civic deliberations on societal risks.

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