2011-07-15 04:24:04Can Science 2.0 Help Bridge The Gap Between Climate Science And The Public? -- Science 2.0
John Hartz
John Hartz

This is a "must read" article for all skS readers.

2011-07-15 06:33:47I like the site and concept of Science 2.0
John Cook

It's a good article, emphasizing that we must be communicating climate science in laymen terms. It's something we've tried to do at SkS and must continue to get better at. Note the catchy headlines in the right margin - Joe Romm would be proud.

I submit it's still not enough. If explaining in science in plain language is Science 2.0, then we should be progressing onto Science 3.0 which is the factoring of human psychology into our communication. That means taking into account the values of our audience, speaking in the language of the human brain (metaphor, narrative, concrete), rebutting misinformation by emphasis on facts rather than the myth and replacing myths with an alternate narrative.

If no one else has coined the term "Science 3.0" with the above meaning, I claim dibs! :-)

2011-07-15 13:10:10John Cook
John Hartz
John Hartz

As  you point out, SkS and Science 2.0 have a lot in common. Perhaps some partnering is in order?

2011-07-15 13:19:29
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Patrick Lockerby writes for Science 2.0 here:


2011-07-21 02:08:27Bridging the gap


Can Science 2.0 Help Bridge The Gap Between Climate Science And The Public?

I, for one, am trying my best to make it so.


Plug alert!


I have just posted 2 parts of an article on ignatz Venetz - part 3, a translation, is still in progress.


This attempt - to demonstrate to the public at large that the science of climate change is almost 200 years old - has been a labor of love.  I haven't posted much else while I have been heavily engaged in researching the discovery of climate change.


In an introduction to Venetz's posthumously published 2nd memoir on glaciers, the publishing committee said of Venetz that the committe had been guided in its decision to publish by "a feeling of piety towards the founder of the beautiful theory of erratic transportation, which, like few others, has acquired rights of citizenship in geology and served as a starting point for a host of other important research,"

(My translation from the original French.)


Whenever I see the comment: "the climate has always changed", I feel sure that the commenter has no idea that this simple fact comes from the proofs furnished by Venetz, prior to which the scientific consensus was that the climate had always been relatively stable - the Noachian flood excepted.  At that time, Venetz's assertion that the climate had changed frequently was received with astonishment and ridicule and was the subject of much heated debate.



2011-07-21 11:19:17science 3.0? Don't
Tom Smerling


re: john's science 3.0.    "Factoring of human psychology into our communication" is crucial.  For too long, we've imagined the public mind as an empty vessel -- just pour in facts, and out comes rational choice.   Not.

But a word of caution from a recovering social scientist.    Don't expect too much from cognitive psychology.    Yet, it offers a few useful insights for sure, but it is still an infant science.   And -- god forbid -- don't look to cognitive scientists for compelling narratives and persuasive language.   Diagnosis, not treatment, is their specialty.

Cognitive science might get us 1/4 the way there.   But because their concern is building theory via experimentation, they will always be way behind the curve of the best spinmeisters.

The rest must come from listening more closely to our audiences, finding our own master wordsmiths, maybe testing ideas in focus groups and polling, learning the secrets of spellbinding storytellers, plus lots of trial-and-error (ala SkS media interview forum).

As scientist-turned-filmaker-turned polemicist Randy Olson -- Don't Be Such a Scientist! and The Nerd Loop -- keeps ranting, communication is still more art than science.   

Hmm.   What can "bridge the gap" between Olson's crazy blog "The Benshi" and SkS?   Science 4.0?