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Science and Skepticism. Marianna Wood. the nature of science. observable facts tentative explanations no proof DATA, DATA, DATA. the nature of science. incremental If I have seen farther than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton self-correcting.

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Science and Skepticism

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Science and skepticism

Science and Skepticism

Marianna Wood

The nature of science

the nature of science

  • observable facts

  • tentative explanations

    • no proof


The nature of science1

the nature of science

  • incremental

    • If I have seen farther than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.Isaac Newton

  • self-correcting

Scientific uncertainty

scientific uncertainty

  • scientists comfortable with uncertainty

  • policy makers and the general public less comfortable with uncertainty

  • how can scientists communicate uncertainty?

Scientific uncertainty1

scientific uncertainty

Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

A scientist s view

a scientist’s view

  • hacked e-mails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia

  • IPCC mistake on Himalayan glacier melt

Science and skepticism

human cause?



Liberals and conservatives

liberals and conservatives

“Liberals did appear to be

more open, tolerant, creative, curious, expressive, enthusiastic, and drawn to novelty and diversity,

in comparison with

conservatives, who appeared to be

more conventional, orderly, organized, neat, clean, withdrawn, reserved, and rigid.”

Carney, Jost, Gosling, and Potter. 2008. Political Psychology 29:807-840

Liberals and conservatives1

liberals and conservatives

  • conservatives

    • distrust “elites”

    • respect and protect the status quo

  • acknowledging climate change  status quo must change

  • Begley. 21 Dec 2009. Newsweek p32.

    Science and skepticism

    human cause?




    A scientist s view1

    a scientist’s view

    • saying something repeatedly/loudly/ disparagingly does not make it true

    • rich primary literature on climate change with many, many participants

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