Research & Insights

Time To Cool It With the Science Education About Global Warming

More public education will not help reduce the polarization that characterizes debates over issues such as climate change and evolution.

In fact, the current approach to educating the public on these topics is divisive and is actually stoking “believers vs. deniers” divisions, and creating a form of “science communication pollution,” according to Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology, at Yale University.

What matters instead is recognizing how we’re all fueling this problem, correcting our approach, and ending the polarization so we can move forward together with better public policy

In a forthcoming paper prepared for The Advances in Political Psychology, Kahan writes:

“… there is in fact little disagreement among culturally diverse citizens on what science knows about climate change. The source of the climate- change controversy and like disputes is the contamination of education and politics with forms of cultural status competition that make it impossible for diverse citizens to express their reason as both collective-knowledge acquirers and cultural-identity protectors at the same time.”

Advances In Political Psychology

Dan M. Kahan, Yale University

Posted: August 11, 2014
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