Chris Mooney, science and political journalist, will host the next lecture in the ALLELE (Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution) series on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Biology Building auditorium.
Mooney’s lecture entitled “The Science of Why We Deny Science” will focus on the reasons people often do not accept the facts and research scientists put forth. He especially focuses on the intersection between science and politics and how they correlate and develop public understanding and acceptance of science.
William Evans, professor and interim chair of the Department of Telecommunication and Film and sponsor for this lecture, said Mooney’s constant monitoring of the science realm separates him from other science journalists.
“No other journalist has taken care to follow the scholarship other than Mooney,” Evans said. “Mooney has made it his job to keep up with scholars and their work in their field, keep up with what they’re doing, keep in touch with them. So that’s why I think he’s probably the single best science journalist ALLELE could bring in.”
It’s important to understand why people don’t accept science in order to advance with understanding climate change and evolution, Evans said. Mooney looks at why people deny science in regards to politics, religion, and more, Evans continued. Mooney will look at global warming, evolution, and other scientific revelations that have been accepted in the scientific community, and discuss the public’s opinion on these matters and why these opinions exist.
“We need people to understand public understanding of science like Mooney,” Evans said. “Journalists can help us understand what kind of messages are the public getting about evolution, why might they resist these messages, what’s the source of resistance to these messages. He’s not just covering science and evolution and climate change, he’s covering the way the media covers these issues.”
Mooney is a correspondent for The Climate Desk, a contributing writer at Mother Jones Magazine, and co-host of the podcast Inquiring Minds. He has written four books, including New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science. Mooney has made national appearances on shows such as The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and The Last Word.
The event is free and open to the public. To see other upcoming ALLELE lectures, visit http://evolution.as.ua.edu.