Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial

In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened so you can now register for free. Here is a description of the MOOC:


Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.

About this Course

In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.

  • Why the gap between the public and scientists?
  • What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?
  • How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?

This course examines the science of climate science denial.

We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.

With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.

This isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.

Our MOOC features presenters from 10 universities or colleges in 4 countries:

John Cook
University of Queensland
Scott Mandia
Suffolk County Community College
Daniel Bedford
Weber State University
Dana Nuccitelli
Tetra Tech, Inc
Gavin Cawley
University of East Anglia
  Mark Richardson
University of Reading
Kevin Cowtan
University of York
Keah Schuenemann
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Sarah Green
Michigan Technological University
Andy Skuce
Salt Spring Consulting Ltd
Peter Jacobs
George Mason University
Robert Way
University of Ottawa

I've just spent the last week traveling across England, recording the Denial101x lectures by our UK presenters. Here are some shots of the MOOC development in action:

Mark Richardson from the University of Reading explains the greenhouse effect in the only way an Englishman can: using cups of tea.

Gavin Cawley from the University of East Anglia fights myths about the carbon cycle, while his moustache fights gravity.

Kevin Cowtan from the University of York, and myself, deliberate over the wording of his lecture. Or perhaps we're just watching his Arctic sea ice bucket challenge.

The short URL of the Denial101x MOOC for sharing is http://sks.to/denial101x

Posted by John Cook on Sunday, 21 September, 2014

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