The Science about not believing Science


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Fascinating article, with lots of further links - - read all 4 pages for the full effect :)

Some stuff we already know:

Ironically, in part because researchers employ so much nuance and strive to disclose all remaining sources of uncertainty, scientific evidence is highly susceptible to selective reading and misinterpretation.
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Edit - sorry - corect link added!
Here is an interesting NYTimes article on the rejection of climate science- The title of the research paper referred to is quite telling:

NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax:
An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science

Dr. Lewandowsky’s survey results suggested that people who rejected climate science were more likely than other respondents to reject other scientific or official findings and buy into assorted fringe theories: that NASA faked the moon landing, that the Central Intelligence Agency killed Martin Luther King Jr., that the AIDS virus was unleashed by the government, and so forth.

This piece of research appeared in a specialized journal in psychological science, but it did not take long to find its way onto climate skeptics’ blogs, setting off howls of derision.

A theory quickly emerged: that believers in climate science had been the main people taking Dr. Lewandowsky’s survey, but instead of answering honestly, had decided en masse to impersonate climate contrarians, giving the craziest possible answers so as to make the contrarians look like whack jobs.

So, a paper about a tendency among this group to believe in conspiracy theories was met by … a conspiracy theory.
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Here is the actual research paper:
To interject, I have worked in science for the past 5 years and I can tell you that not everything published is correct. I spent three years working of something based on peer reviewed articles that turned out to be complete rubbish, and which I ended up refuting. I know not of the specific stories you are talking about, but I will say that a healthy dose of scepticism is good, in my case I took something on faith and it turned out to be wrong... and you can bet your ass there won't be a retraction from the people who initially published the work.