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AGU Fall Meeting sessions on social media, misinformation and uncertainty

Posted on 16 July 2012 by John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky

We have proposed several sessions for the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco on 3-7 December: on social media, misinformation and uncertainty. AGU members are invited to submit abstracts for the sessions - the deadline to submit an abstract is August 8. Details of the sessions are:

PA013: Social Media and Blogging as a Communication Tool for Scientists

Session Abstract:
Social media and the Internet has become an increasingly indispensable tool for scientists and communicators. This session will feature key figures in the climate blogosphere who have adopted novel and effective methods of communicating climate change science on the Internet. They will discuss the risks and rewards of new media, covering issues such as the challenges and advantages of crowd sourcing, viral marketing, Internet marketing and traffic generation, the use of smartphones, the management of online communities and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Convenor: John Cook

Invited Speakers:

  • Michael Mann
  • Michael Tobis
  • Peter Sinclair
  • Zeke Hausfather

ED042: Understanding & Responding to Misinformation

Session Abstract:
Scientists face many challenges in effectively communicating science to the public, not the least being the presence of misinformation. However, there are actually positive educational opportunities available in the correction of misinformation. This session will explain the psychology and origins of misinformation, the cognitive processes at play when correcting misconceptions and recommended approaches to effective myth debunking. The session will be relevant to scientists seeking to explain their science, to communicators wishing to effectively outreach to the public and educators who may need to respond to misinformation in the classroom.

Convenors: Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook

Invited Speakers:

  • Daniel Bedford
  • Max Boykoff

GC014: Construing Uncertainty in Climate Science

Session Abstract:
Uncertainty forms an integral part of climate science, and it is often cited in connection with political arguments against mitigative action. However, the implications of uncertainty are not always well understood. In particular, uncertainty is often misunderstood to imply that the risk from climate change may be minimal, whereas in fact greater uncertainty translates into greater risk. This session will examine how uncertainty can be misconstrued, how such misconstrual can be avoided, what the implications of uncertainty are for risk management, and why the notion of uncertainty plays such an important role in cognition and decision making as it relates to climate change.

Convenors: John Robert Hunter, Stephan Lewandowsky, James Risbey

Invited Speakers:

  • Naomi Oreskes
  • Gerard Roe
  • Paul Baer
  • Mike Raupach

AGU Members, click here to submit an abstract for either session.

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Comments 151 to 155 out of 155:

  1. geoffchambers@150 Thank you for the clarification.
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  2. Stephan has a new post up providing all the pertinent details enquiring minds would want to know.
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  3. geoffchambers @150, for the record, up until about December 2010 I was only an occasional reader of SkS, and do not recall the survey at all.
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  4. I have notice that Australian Climate Madness and Climate Depot are prominently featuring a misinterpretation of my words, suggesting that I have said that Lewandowsky has no moral recourse but to rewrite, retract or correct his paper. More accurately, I believe that Lewandowsky has no recourse but to rewrite, withdraw or correct if he agrees with my analysis. I doubt any AGW "skeptic" will want to argue that disagreeing with an analysis by Tom Curtis is itself an immoral act - and certainly I would not either. (How does it come about that so simple a premise needs explaining?) I have left the following comment at Australian Climate Madness, and emailed Marc Morano requesting a correction. I would appreciate it if anybody who comes across a similar misrepresentation directs people to this post.
    "Your claim that, “As Tom Curtis observed, Lewandowsky has no moral alternative but to withdraw his paper” is an over interpretation of my words. It is very obvious that Lewandowsky has the very moral option of simply disagreeing with my analysis. If he disagreed, then he would be acting immorally if he did rewrite, withdraw or retract. This is a distinction you should easily be able to make. If you cannot, you are committed to the belief that every climate change “skeptic” with whom I disagree and who does not rewrite, withdraw or retract is acting immorally – a view to which I certainly do not hold."
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  5. Australian Climate Madness I just love that! Sounds as though the name was chosen in a moment of irrational exuberance, too hastily to realize the double entendre. My immediate association on seeing the words: "coal exports."
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