New podcast Evidence Squared by John Cook & Peter Jacobs
Posted on 29 March 2017 by John Cook
Since arriving in the US two months ago, I've been developing a podcast with Peter Jacobs, a PhD student studying paleoclimate at George Mason University. While there are a number of podcasts about climate change, there were no podcasts about the science of science communication, how to talk about climate change. Today, we've launched our podcast, Evidence Squared.
The first four episodes give you an idea of the type of podcast we've put together. Episode 1, Stephan Lewandowsky and Origins, explains how the podcast's origins - how years ago, I received an email from Stephan Lewandowsky introducing me to the psychology of misinformation - a fateful moment that set me on the path that now has me living a stone's throw away from Washington DC. Peter also explains how a social science class at George Mason University sparked his interest in science communication. We include an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky that I conducted last December in California.
Episode 2: Scott Pruitt and science denial was recorded a week and a half ago - fresh after the Pruitt CNBC interview that exploded all over the internet. This was a topic we were keen to discuss in detail for two reasons. First, it cut to the heart of what people mean when they talk about the 97% scientific consensus on climate change. Second, it brought up the issue of denial - what are the characteristics that help you recognize science denial?
Episode 3: Tony Leiserowitz and consensus messaging explored a topic close to my heart. No, not my lungs, but the how and why of communicating the level of scientific agreement among climate experts that humans are causing global warming. For several decades, a persistent misinformation campaign has cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change. A number of psychological studies have underscored the importance of communicating the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists. But a few academics, while accepting that there is a consensus, are not big fans of communicating the consensus. This episode includes my interview with communication expert Tony Leiserowitz (at COP21 in Paris), where I threw the most common objections about consensus messaging at Tony and he answered them with eloquent concision.
Episode 4: Previewing the climate science denial hearing was published this morning, an hour before Lamar Smith's hearing (aka inquisition) on climate science. While Peter repeatedly stressed that we weren't in the prediction game, we were attempting to anticipate what type of misinformation we might see in the hearing (frankly, we nailed it). Next week, we will pick out the highlights (including Mike Mann's Princess Bride reference) from the hearing and discuss them in detail.
So if you're into podcasts, please subscribe to us on iTunes and rate us. You can also check out our website evidencesquared.com, where we'll be posting the show notes for each episode (so far, they're very detailed, almost like scholarly references - I hope we can maintain the quality). I'll also be posting lots of short video excerpts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
But if you're not into podcasts, I highly recommend giving it a try! I picked up the habit over the last year and have really enjoyed the entertaining, casual, funny yet highly informative conversations in all the podcasts I subscribe to (favorites being Positive Feedback, Pod Save America and Slate's Political Gabfest). That's the experience we're hoping to provide, focusing on the topics of climate change and science communication.