Lee McIntyre, Ph.D.
WHAT: How to Talk to a Science Denier – Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason It is sometimes claimed that trying to convince a science denier with facts will only backfire. The latest research, however, shows that this is mistaken and that there ARE effective techniques that can be used to keep someone from becoming a science denier and even help them to overturn mistaken beliefs once they are formed. The secret lies in recognizing that even empirical beliefs may be held for reasons that have nothing to do with evidence, such as personal values, trust, ideology, and group identity. The best way to convince someone in this case is not to insult them — or clobber them with evidence — but to engage in calm, respectful, patient conversation that simultaneously builds trust and encourages them to reflect not just on what they believe but the reasoning strategy that brought them to believe it.
WHO: Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. Formerly Executive Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, he previously taught philosophy at Colgate University, Boston University, Simmons College, Tufts Experimental College and Harvard Extension School.
McIntyre is the bestselling author of POST-TRUTH (MIT Press, 2018) — which was named a Book-of-the-Week in April 2018 by CNN and a Best Book of 2018 by the PBS News Hour — along with thirteen other works of fiction and nonfiction, including DARK AGES: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior (2006), THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE: Defending Science from Denial, Fraud, and Pseudoscience (2019), and his latest book HOW TO TALK TO A SCIENCE DENIER: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason (2021). His work has been translated into thirteen languages.
McIntyre’s popular essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Nature, Newsweek, Scientific American, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and numerous other venues. He has appeared on CNN International on Amanpour and Company — and several other programs on PBS, NPR and the BBC — and has spoken at the United Nations, the Aspen Institute , and the Vatican.
In 2021, McIntyre starred in the docu-series INFODEMIC: Global Conversations on Science and Misinformation , broadcast on LINK TV and PBS.
WHEN: Thursday 9 June 6:30PM (early)
Where: Online. Click HERE Previous SkepTalks:
12 May 2022 Superstitions, Aliens, and Conspiracies: The Frontlines of Astronomy Outreach – Mike Simmons 14 Apr 2022 Confidence Men: How 2 Prisoners Made History’s Most Remarkable Escape – Margalit Fox 10 Mar 2022 The Reality of Reality TV – Yau-Man Chan 10 Feb 2022 Who’s Making All Those Scam Calls – Yudhijit Bhattacharjee 13 Jan 2022 Weirdness!: What Fake Science & the Paranormal Tell Us about the Nature of Science – Taner Edis 9 Dec 2021 Dangers of the “Lost Civilization” Trope – A.J. White 11 Nov 2021 Machineries of Doubt: Climate, Cigarettes & Confusion – John Mashey 9 Sep 2021 The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project – Richard Saunders 12 Aug 2021 What To Do About Misinformation (in Four Dimensions) – John Cook 8 July 2021 Tilting at Strawmen & Other Tricks of Climate Denial Enablers – Mark Boslough 10 Jun 2021 The Truth Behind False Memories – Jill Yamashita 13 May 2021 Vaccine hesitancy in the era of COVID – Tara C. Smith 8 Apr 2021 Why storytelling is vital to science communication – Sara ElShafie 11 Mar 2021 Haunted Humanity: The Fringe Is Not Fringe, and That’s a Big Deal – Daniel Loxton 11 Feb 2021 From Junk to Genes: The birth of new miRNA genes in the human genome – Nathan Lents 14 Jan 2021 The Continuing Relevance of America’s Eugenic Legacy – Paul Lombardo 10 Dec 2020 Deepfakes, GANs and Visual Misinformation – Nick Dufour 12 Nov 2020 The Debate about Dark Matter: Is the Matter Settled? – Don Lincoln 8 Oct 2020 Facilitated Communication: Holding on to (False) Hope – Janyce Boynton 10 Sep 2020 Mad Myths: The Case for Using Persuasion to Promote Critical Thinking – Jay Diamond 13 Feb 2020 Big Data: What it is, how it’s used, where it’s headed – Mike Olson 12 Dec 2019 Are you sure that sippy-cup is safe? – Layla Katiraee 7 Nov 2019 Why Do People Reject Good Science? – Eugenie Scott 10 Oct 2019 Shit Students Say: Chem trails, hollow earths, and other strange ideas – Steven Newton 12 Sep 2019 Successful Skepticism: Creating Lasting Community – Tucker Phelps 9 May 2019 The Bitter M&Ms of Climate Change: Misconceptions and Misinformation – Brad Hoge 11 Apr 2019 The Year in Anti-Science-Education Legislation – Glenn Branch 14 Mar 2019 Australia’s Psychic Detectives and Psychic “Predictions” – Richard Saunders 14 Feb 2019 What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists? – Eugenie Scott 10 Jan 2019 Common Misconceptions About CRISPR Genome Editing – Kevin Doxzen 13 Dec 2018 BAS BAH Fest 8 Nov 2018 A Skeptic’s Guide to Planet Hunting – Josh Lofy 11 Oct 2018 Beyond a Candle in the Dark – Mick West 13 Sep 2018 When a Biology Meets a Biology – David Almandsmith 10 May 2018 Common Misconceptions in Anthropology – Julie Hui 12 Apr 2018 Skepardy! — Bill Patterson 8 Mar 2018 A Quirky Colloquium Quashing Quantum Quackery — Miriam Diamond 8 Feb 2018 The Human Drive to Explain — Tania Lombrozo 14 Jan 2018 Neuroscience and the Great Questions — Ransom Stephens 14 Dec 2017 Top Ten Myths of Homelessness — Carrie Sager 9 Nov 2017 Myths of Mass Extinctions — Kevin Padian 12 Oct 2017 Hurricanes and Heat Waves: Is This Climate Change? — Brad Hoge 11 May 2017 Beyond the Choir – Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia — Susan Gerbic 13 Apr 2017 An Invisible Plague: the Growing Threat of Tuberculosis — Lauren Popov 9 Feb 2017 Are Saturated Fats Bad for You? Separating Fat from Fiction — Kent McDonald 12 Jan 2017 Harry Houdini vs. Psychics & Mediums — Mark Tarses 29 Dec 2016 Too Good to be True? – Richard Saunders 10 Nov 2016 Myths of Astronomy — Thomas Targett 10 Sep 2015 Angle Trisection: A problem many tried to solve — Paul Stepahin 9 Apr 2015 Herding Cats and Teaching Science — Dan Pemberton 12 Feb 2015 Quantum Pseudoscience and the Nature of Mind — Russel Willcox 8 Jan 2015 The Manson Family, Cults, and the Psychology of Commitment – Dr. Patrick O’Reilly 10 Oct 2012 Writing About Vaccines When Evidence Doesn’t Matter — Liza Gross 12 Sep 2012 Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick — Sheldon Helms 8 Aug 2012 Documentary & Skype — “In God We Teach” 11 Apr 2012 A Skeptical View of Climate Change Skeptics — Mark McCaffrey 14 Nov 2011 Climate Change: From the Biotic to the Exotic — Minda Berbeco 12 Oct 2011 A Unicorn in Your Tank: Magic Tablets That Won’t Improve Gas Mileage — Yau-Man Chan 14 Sep 2011 Catastrophes! — Don Prothero