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Corruption changes the link between education and trust in science

By Büsra Elif Yelbuz, Sümeyra Bengisu Akkurt, Sinan Alper and Onurcan Yılmaz For years it was believed that the primary cause behind individuals rejecting science was merely a lack of knowledge. In line with this, a number of studies have suggested that individuals with greater knowledge tend to exhibit more trust in science and scientists. If this were as simple, the solution would be quite easy: Just share the facts and increase the communication of science-related topics. In fact, an entire field mostly focuses on this exact strategy, science communication, which is the practice of making scientific evidence readily available and easy to understand by practically everyone. Needless to say, however, the solution is not as simple as initially assumed. The COVID-19 pandemic, global warming, and the global energy crisis are just some of the examples in which we have seen science communication insufficient in raising public acceptance and trust in science. What seems to be the barrier,
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Be alert to “unknown experts”: evidence from the semantic features of climate change misinformation on Chinese social media

By Jianxun Chu, Yuqi Zhu, and Jiaojiao Ji We often come across news stating “authoritative sources said/revealed/stated...”. These named or unnamed sources are the laissez-passer for the credibility of the news. This is particularly true when it comes to complicated science-related issues, such as climate change, vaccination, and GMOs. People without prior knowledge or experience on these subjects are inclined to trust what appears credible. But is this always justified? We delved into Chinese social media to identify characteristics of climate change misinformation. Our study, yielding some counterintuitive results, suggest that the references to authority in a related field (authority reference) might, paradoxically, be the indicators of misinformation. The debate over climate change has been palpable, considerable, and unstoppable for decades. Even though an overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change poses a significant threat to humankind, some still view t

Neuroscience explanations really do satisfy

By Elizabeth M. Bennett and Peter J. McLaughlin. The presence of neuroscience information can result in a sense of satisfaction, familiarity, and understanding among laypeople. While these effects are typically small or moderate and don't lead to objective changes in understanding, they can influence perceptions.  Watch the video to find out more. Read the original article: Neuroscience explanations really do satisfy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the seductive allure of neuroscience --- Elizabeth M. Bennett  is currently a Data Analyst with Sandridge Crafted Foods. She conceived of and co-conducted this project as an undergraduate at Pennsylvania Western University – Edinboro, graduating summa cum laude in 2022 with dual B.S. degrees in Psychology and Data Analytics. Her interests are in behavioral neuroscience and quantitative methods. Peter J. McLaughlin  is Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania Western University – Edinboro. His research varies from the role of can

Dark citizen science

By James Riley and Will Mason-Wilkes. In the realm of citizen science, where public participation meets scientific inquiry, a complex landscape emerges. While citizen science projects hold the promise of enhancing democratic governance and engagement with science, not all initiatives that resemble citizen science adhere to these democratic ideals. In the digital age, citizens can find themselves unwittingly contributing to technoscientific knowledge production, a phenomenon that we termed 'Dark Citizen Science.'  Watch the video to find out more. Read the original article:  Dark Citizen Science --- James Riley is a mixed-methods researcher with interests in science communication, science and society, and science and belief. He has a background in public engagement research and practice, with a particular focus on innovative modes of science–society interaction. Will Mason-Wilkes is a Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholar interested in media and popular culture represen

Navigating the patchwork of digital media, searching for quality criteria

By Emma Weitkamp How do you judge the quality of the science you consume online? In an increasingly diverse media landscape quality assessment becomes an important challenge for science communication, both from a practical and research perspective. Online, we encounter science via a patchwork of very different platforms and voices. It is this nexus between platform – Spotify, Reddit, blogs and newspaper feeds – and voices – climate activists, science sceptics, lobby groups and scientists – that creates the challenge of assessing quality. We cannot easily apply the same criteria to a YouTube video produced by an interested citizen, as we do to an in depth blog post written by a scientist. Nor should we. Yet debates around misinformation, science denial and infodemics raise questions about the challenges digital media pose to society, particularly given the lack of critical engagement on the part of users when it comes to assessing the quality of the material they consume . If readers