AGU Fall Meeting sessions on social media, misinformation and uncertainty

By Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol
Posted on 16 July 2012
and John Cook

We have proposed several sessions for the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco on 3-7 December: on uncertainty, misinformation and social media. AGU members are invited to submit abstracts for the sessions - the deadline to submit an abstract is August 8. Details of the sessions are:

GC014: Construing Uncertainty in Climate Science

Session Abstract:
Uncertainty forms an integral part of climate science, and it is often cited in connection with political arguments against mitigative action. However, the implications of uncertainty are not always well understood. In particular, uncertainty is often misunderstood to imply that the risk from climate change may be minimal, whereas in fact greater uncertainty translates into greater risk. This session will examine how uncertainty can be misconstrued, how such misconstrual can be avoided, what the implications of uncertainty are for risk management, and why the notion of uncertainty plays such an important role in cognition and decision making as it relates to climate change.

Convenors: John Robert Hunter, Stephan Lewandowsky, James Risbey

Invited Speakers:

  • Naomi Oreskes
  • Gerard Roe
  • Paul Baer
  • Mike Raupach

ED042: Understanding & Responding to Misinformation

Session Abstract:
Scientists face many challenges in effectively communicating science to the public, not the least being the presence of misinformation. However, there are actually positive educational opportunities available in the correction of misinformation. This session will explain the psychology and origins of misinformation, the cognitive processes at play when correcting misconceptions and recommended approaches to effective myth debunking. The session will be relevant to scientists seeking to explain their science, to communicators wishing to effectively outreach to the public and educators who may need to respond to misinformation in the classroom.

Convenors: Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook

Invited Speakers:

  • Daniel Bedford
  • Max Boykoff

PA013: Social Media and Blogging as a Communication Tool for Scientists

Session Abstract:
Social media and the Internet has become an increasingly indispensable tool for scientists and communicators. This session will feature key figures in the climate blogosphere who have adopted novel and effective methods of communicating climate change science on the Internet. They will discuss the risks and rewards of new media, covering issues such as the challenges and advantages of crowd sourcing, viral marketing, Internet marketing and traffic generation, the use of smartphones, the management of online communities and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Convenor: John Cook

Invited Speakers:

  • Michael Mann
  • Michael Tobis
  • Peter Sinclair
  • Zeke Hausfather

AGU Members, click here to submit an abstract for either session.

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1 Comment


Comments 1 to 1:

  1. Great initiative, but somewhat concerning you've only rummaged up one woman in the sea of men. Not really convincing as a demonstration of your ability to communicate across different social groups...
    Moderator Response: Your observation is spot on but I don't think it's the result of inattention or lack of trying on our part. If you can think of any women whose attention we should draw to submitting an abstract, please let us know.
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