The science is clear, so why do some Canadians not believe it? From complex issues like vaccination to very obvious things like the general shape of our planet, it seems as if an increasing number of people are losing trust in science.
For example, 99.94% of peer reviewed studies, over 54,000, demonstrate the link between human activity and climate change. 0.06% of these studies, or about 30, show the opposite. Yet some polls show up to ⅓ of Canadians remaining unconvinced.
In the information vacuum left by the decline of traditional media, “facts” are easily swayed by special interest groups, or created out of thin air by others. One way to curb this trend is to get researchers out of the lab and talking with members of the public directly - but academia has not always been friendly to scientists who do this…
Dr. Smol outlines the barriers, both personal and institutional, that have kept academics from translating their work to general audiences. He argues that these will have to be overcome if we are to reverse the worrying trend away from trust in science.
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