Interested in adventure? Well, then this public lecture is for you. It’s me again, this time at the invitation of Maynooth University as part of their celebration of Science Week 2014.
Here is the abstract…
Adventures in Science Communication
Science and scientists are objects of fascination in modern society. Despite this, science is very frequently misunderstood and misrepresented in public discourse. Public confusion about science can arise from many sources, including the somewhat counterintuitive nature of scientific reasoning and the obtuseness of (some) scientific subject matter. However, most confusion arises from the way science is communicated.
Whether covering water fluoridation, climate change, or sex differences in the brain, the mass media can indeed be unskilled, careless, and biased in their reporting of science. But it is worth noting that media distortions can often be traced right back to scientists themselves, who are just as susceptible to ineptitude, lazy-mindedness, and subjectivity when describing their work.
This lecture explores some examples of when science has ended up being misrepresented in the public domain, the consequences (both humorous and dangerous) of such distortions, and some ways in which public communication of science might be enhanced.
The lecture takes place on Monday, 10 November, at 7:00 p.m. in JH2 John Hume Building at Maynooth University. See here for campus map. Further details on Maynooth University’s Science Week events are posted here.
Admission is free, so you’ve no excuses (assuming you can be in the actual country that day).
You know you want to.
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.