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NESL is proud to kick off the 2014 NESL Distinguished Lecturer Series with Dan Kahan. Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. He is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and and science communication. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, Professor Kahan and his collaborators have investigated public dissensus over climate change, public reactions to emerging technologies, and public understandings of scientific consensus across disputed issues.
Abstract: “Science communication” is—or certainly ought to be understood to be—a system. That system consists of all the diverse mechanisms and processes that operate to assure that the knowledge generated by science is recognized and given proper effect by all the individuals whose welfare depends on making evidence-informed decisions. How that system operates, and how it can be protected from influences that interfere with its functioning, are matters that themselves admit of and demand scientific investigation. Indeed, such investigation suggests that the empirically naïve understanding that “science communication” involves simply imparting scientific information, and that makes no distinction about what sorts of information are needed by diversely situated actors in order for the knowledge generated by science to reliably inform individual and collective decision making, is itself an impediment to the effective operation of science communication as a system. . . . How’s that for “science communication”? Don’t worry. I’ll explain more at the lecture.
When: Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 3:30
Where: FL2-1022 (Main Seminar Room)