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Arpan Bhattacharya Declares: Science Deniers Are Not Stupid

April 6, 2017 | Comments

When you hear someone denying the evidence that vaccines are safe, your first impulse is probably to correct them with scientific data. But studies show that mere recitation of facts is often not persuasive for people and can even backfire. It doesn’t matter how many times we explain the basics of the immune system or the biology of genetically modified foods, skeptics still refuse to vaccinate their children or eat GMO foods.

In this review of Denying to the Grave, science writer Arpan Bhattacharya explains that in fact science deniers are not stupid. Rather, there are well-described, common psychological and neurobiological factors that make us prone to misinterpret, misunderstand, or flat-out refuse to accept what science tells us. Only by understanding these factors and empathizing with those under their sway can we hope to help accept scientific evidence.

Do you know people who despite knowing the “facts” and being very intelligent nevertheless refuse to acknowledge scientific evidence on certain issues? How do you understand what is going on with them? What do you say to them? We would love to hear your observations and approaches to these problems, which after all affect our collective health and safety. Comment below or contact us here. 

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