Do you want some science with your entertainment?

By Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 21 April 2012

On Thursday next week the ABC (Australia, 26 April, 8:30pm AEST) will be airing the documentary I can change your mind about … climate, which has been attracting quite a bit of media attention already. Its main protagonists are two polar opposites: A conservative politician, former Senator Nick Minchin, and a young climate activist, the founder and chair of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition Anna Rose.

Nick Minchin is well known for his opposition to climate science and also for opposing the notion that second-hand tobacco smoke is detrimental to your health. Anna Rose has been campaigning for climate action in Australia for years and heads a grassroots organization of 57,000 members.

The narrative of the documentary is that Anna seeks to change Nick’s mind about climate change, whereas Nick is trying to change hers. They travel around the world together, meeting up with supporters of their respective positions, discussing the scientific evidence and challenging each other’s positions.

This documentary will be followed by a “Q&A” panel, consisting of the two main protagonists (antagonists?) Nick and Rose, and also mining magnate Clive Palmer, social researcher and writer Rebecca Huntley, and the Chief executive of the CSIRO Dr Megan Clark. This panel may be quite a lively event, given that Clive Palmer has recently alleged that the CIA funded Greenpeace to harm Australian industrial interests.

Notably absent from the panel are, you guessed it, climate scientists. Dr Clark runs the CSIRO but her qualification is in economic geology not climatology. However, this peculiarity should not be of too much concern because Mr. Palmer will likely ensure that the panel retains its entertainment value.

And those viewers who seek more than entertainment and want some scientific information as well are not left out in the cold either: On the day, during the broadcast of the documentary and the subsequent Q&A panel, Australian climate experts will run a twitter feed (via The Conversation) and also a live blog (hosted by Crikey). The details will be announced here on Shapingtomorrowsworld and elsewhere on the web closer to the time.

So tune into the ABC for entertainment and grab the science via Twitter and our live blog.

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