On two of the major issues facing us as a society today – COVID-19 and climate change – denialism is a very strong force holding us back. Science denialists are often stereotyped as willfully ignorant, closing their ears to what they don’t want to hear. But internet commentator culture has borne a new type of skeptic who seems, on the surface, to be actively engaged in their own learning. This “engagement,” however, may be urged by a specific media personage, and often results in a chronic questioning that skirts reality.
How do we maintain a questioning, but informed and safe, society? Drs. Gale Sinatra and Barbara Hofer have become a leading voice in this space. They are are the co-authors of the book Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It. Professor Hofer is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at Middlebury College and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and Professor Sinatra is the Stephen H. Crocker Chair and Professor of Psychology and Education at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.