Published on January 6th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan
How to Debunk Science Deniers
Folks over at Skeptical Science, an excellent site focused solely on debunking ridiculous anti-science myths from global warming deniers, recently put together an excellent little handbook for anyone interested in debunking science deniers (or misinformation of any sort). The handbook’s call The Debunking Handbook… appropriately. (Note: it’s free and easy to download.)
Here’s an intro to the handbook from the folks over there:
“Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there’s no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation.
“The Handbook explores the surprising fact that debunking myths can sometimes reinforce the myth in peoples’ minds. Communicators need to be aware of the various backfire effects and how to avoid them, such as:
“It also looks at a key element to successful debunking: providing an alternative explanation. The Handbook is designed to be useful to all communicators who have to deal with misinformation (eg – not just climate myths).”
For more on the authors, and to download the book, head on over to Skeptical Science (Highly Recommended!).
Also, for specific climate science topics, be sure to check out these quick, one-line, science-backed replies to over 100 common global warming denier talking points, links to scientific articles included and all.