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A helpful resource: John Cook's presentations about countering misinformation

Posted on 6 April 2021 by BaerbelW

Our talks page provides links to many recorded presentations John Cook and others have given over the years. It also shows how the presentations evolved and how their focus changed from the early to current days. While climate science (e.g. here from 2013) and how that regularly gets distorted (e.g. here from 2016) was initially the main focus, things have broadened to encompass science misinformation more generally. Over time, more and more of John's Cranky Uncle cartoons made appearances in his presentations and he even managed to give one talk for CSICon Las Vegas 2018 where he explained climate science denial using only his cartoons - which I find quite the feat, but judge for yourself:

Now that the Cranky Uncle game is available, the most recent videos often leave out basic climate science information but instead focus on how to actually tackle misinformation, why that is really important and how the game can help with that task. A couple of John's talks this year have been along those lines and this talk for the Cyberpsychology Center from February 2021 is a good example:

As a science communicator, I've benefited a lot from this information and I enjoy sharing it with others whenever an opportunity presents itself. John has been extremely forthcoming in providing his complete slide-decks so that I could pick and chose from the ever growing collection to create my "own" reassembled versions of his talks. Living in Germany, this sometimes involves creating not just reassembled but also translated versions of the presentations. Which in turn makes it necessary to create translated versions of John's cartoons and many of his slides, not to mention the spoken text to go along with them. To help with that task, John provided "text-less" versions of his slides and cartoons so that I could add German text where needed.

On April 1, I was one of many presenters during "KISS", the "Klima in der Schule Symposium" organized by the Scientists for Future which had the goal to showcase projects and options for educators to get (more) climate science into German classrooms. Just from the target audience, this was an ideal event to make participants aware of the Cranky Uncle game and how it could be used in the classroom! Here is the reocrding of my presentation which you can download as a PDF from here. If you've been watching some of John's talks, you should be able to follow along even if you don't speak the language - the slides will look very familiar and I tried to translate his words as closely as possible for my script!

Bottom line: These recordings are a helpful resource for anybody who'd like to at least get some rough idea of what all is involved with countering (climate) science misinformation, which resources are available for and how to go about this important task. 

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