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Mediarology: How Complex Science is Communicated

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Meeting - February 22, 2010

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Serving as a discussant for the AAAS panel session, "Understanding Climate-Change Skepticism: Its Sources and Strategies," moderated by Riley Dunlap, Steve highlights the preponderance of scientific evidence that supports the overwhelming consensus that the climate is warming due to a combination of natural causes and human action, particularly the burning of fossil fuels. It is "very likely" that human activities are responsible for most of the warming of recent decades. Steve explains that it's the job of experts to credibly explain what can happen, what are the odds and how they know, and the job of citizens to make value judgments about how to take risks, who pays, etc. based on the experts' best assessments. He also talks about the methods climate "deniers" use to manipulate messages for the public. The session ends with a lively Q&A with Steve and fellow panelists: Naomi Oreskes, Max Boykoff, and Bill Freudenburg.

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Copyright 2011, Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University