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New podcast Evidence Squared by John Cook & Peter Jacobs

Posted on 29 March 2017 by John Cook

Since arriving in the US two months ago, I've been developing a podcast with Peter Jacobs, a PhD student studying paleoclimate at George Mason University. While there are a number of podcasts about climate change, there were no podcasts about the science of science communication, how to talk about climate change. Today, we've launched our podcast, Evidence Squared.

You can check us out on iTunes and listen to our first four episodes (more on those in a moment). Be sure to subscribe and rate us

The first four episodes give you an idea of the type of podcast we've put together. Episode 1, Stephan Lewandowsky and Origins, explains how the podcast's origins - how years ago, I received an email from Stephan Lewandowsky introducing me to the psychology of misinformation - a fateful moment that set me on the path that now has me living a stone's throw away from Washington DC. Peter also explains how a social science class at George Mason University sparked his interest in science communication. We include an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky that I conducted last December in California.

Episode 2: Scott Pruitt and science denial was recorded a week and a half ago - fresh after the Pruitt CNBC interview that exploded all over the internet. This was a topic we were keen to discuss in detail for two reasons. First, it cut to the heart of what people mean when they talk about the 97% scientific consensus on climate change. Second, it brought up the issue of denial - what are the characteristics that help you recognize science denial?

Episode 3: Tony Leiserowitz and consensus messaging explored a topic close to my heart. No, not my lungs, but the how and why of communicating the level of scientific agreement among climate experts that humans are causing global warming. For several decades, a persistent misinformation campaign has cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change. A number of psychological studies have underscored the importance of communicating the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists. But a few academics, while accepting that there is a consensus, are not big fans of communicating the consensus. This episode includes my interview with communication expert Tony Leiserowitz (at COP21 in Paris), where I threw the most common objections about consensus messaging at Tony and he answered them with eloquent concision.

Episode 4: Previewing the climate science denial hearing was published this morning, an hour before Lamar Smith's hearing (aka inquisition) on climate science. While Peter repeatedly stressed that we weren't in the prediction game, we were attempting to anticipate what type of misinformation we might see in the hearing (frankly, we nailed it). Next week, we will pick out the highlights (including Mike Mann's Princess Bride reference) from the hearing and discuss them in detail.

So if you're into podcasts, please subscribe to us on iTunes and rate us. You can also check out our website, where we'll be posting the show notes for each episode (so far, they're very detailed, almost like scholarly references - I hope we can maintain the quality). I'll also be posting lots of short video excerpts on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

But if you're not into podcasts, I highly recommend giving it a try! I picked up the habit over the last year and have really enjoyed the entertaining, casual, funny yet highly informative conversations in all the podcasts I subscribe to (favorites being Positive Feedback, Pod Save America and Slate's Political Gabfest). That's the experience we're hoping to provide, focusing on the topics of climate change and science communication.

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Comments 1 to 4:

  1. I'm sorry but I can't figure out to listen (or are these videos?) these podcasts. I clicked on the link to download itunes and I successfully downloaded and installed itunes.

    Then (I think) I subscribed to the podcasts. But the only links that are available are merely to download itunes. I don't see anyway to see or hear anything other than the promos for podcasts or for itunes.


    I give up.

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  2. If you have an iPhone you can just download the Podcasts app and get it there.

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  3. Robert - you can also just go to the Evidence Squared website and listen to them from there. On my iPad, I used the iTunes app, searched for the podcasts and downloaded them.

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  4. The ideal way is to subscribe via iTunes because then every time we publish a new episode, you automatically receive the new episode. I have an iPhone so use the Podcasts app - I'd just open the app, go to Search then search for Evidence Squared.

    If you don't use a podcast app, you can listen directly via our website Each blog post features an embedded player at the top of the post where you can play the episode.

    Or you can go straight to the source and view our Soundcloud channel where all our episode mp3s are hosted.

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