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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > July August 2019 > Effective Science Activism and Three Thanks

Effective Science Activism and Three Thanks

We have published several recent articles arguing that to be persuasive in changing the minds of people who believe pseudoscientific claims and appealing misinformation, scientists and skeptics need some better tactics. In a way, Troy Campbell’s cover article, “Team Science,” is the culmination of this informal, continuing counseling course. Campbell, a social psychologist, is a professor of marketing (University of Oregon), and he brings not just a marketer’s understanding of persuasion to skeptics’ attention but that of a former “Imagineer” with Walt Disney as well. Who, after all, is more attuned to using all the tools of imagination and entertainment to draw us happily into their world than the creative people at Disney? Now, Disney’s studios and theme parks have a few more resources to bring to bear on their audiences than do scientific skeptics, but nevertheless some of what they have learned may be transferrable. Campbell, who spoke on this subject at CSICon 2018, offers a lot of practical advice. He agrees it’s unfair that scientists should have to do more than present “the facts,” but it is a fact that, to be effective in today’s world, they do. Also check out his handy sidebar, “Tips for Effective Activism.”

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TEAM SCIENCE: Building Better Science Activists with Insights from Disney, Marketing Conspiring for the Common Good A Stegosaur Carving on the Ruins of Ta Prohm? Think Again