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Climate Science in a Fact-Free World – Keeling Lecture

April 20, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

As part of Earth Month 2020, Texas Tech’s Katharine Hayhoe will deliver the 2020 Charles David Keeling Lecture online, hosted by the University of Illinois.

Gravity doesn’t care what we believe; if we step off a cliff, we’re going down. And a thermometer doesn’t give us a different answer, depending on how we vote. Yet today, the best predictor of whether we agree that climate is changing and humans are responsible isn’t our level of education or our degree of scientific literacy: It’s simply where we fall on the political spectrum. How can good science inform sound decision-making in a world permeated by the false notion, as Isaac Asimov said, that ‘democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’? The answer lies not in the physical sciences, but in the social science of how we as humans interact with information. By understanding the true roots of denial, it can be possible to constructively engage with deliberate attempts to politicize the science and even identify unexpected areas of common ground on which to build bridges rather than deepen existing trenches.



April 20, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm