Today, the Washington Post put up this announcement:
We’re thrilled to announce that Chris Mooney is joining The Post to create a new blog about the environment….He will start as part of Wonkblog, and build toward the future rollout of a standalone blog that will pull together the excellent work of The Post’s all-star roster of energy and environment writers. Stay tuned for more details on that.
I tweeted some elaboration: [click to continue…]
I’m teaching an online course in May entitled “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe in Science.”
The course will be based on my many writings on this subject.
Here’s the synopsis:
Ever wonder why we can never seem to stop fighting about settled scientific issues like climate change, evolution, and the safety of vaccines? Or simply why you can never seem to change a science denier’s mind? Renowned science journalist Chris Mooney has been reporting and writing on this subject for the past three years, and in this course, he walks you through a growing body of research on the psychology and emotions behind science denial. Topics covered include motivated reasoning, conspiratorial beliefs, and the psychology of political ideology and of religion. At the end of this month long course, not only will you understand what you’re actually up against when dealing with science deniers — you’ll know how to make headway against them.
For more info, see here.
Meanwhile, I also just gave a lecture on the same subject at UC Berkeley, which has just gone up on YouTube. If you have questions after watching this lecture, or want to dig deeper into the material discussed or want to talk about it, the course is probably for you:
The Inquiring Minds podcast is still going strong–well over 800,000 downloads since our launch back in September of 2013!
A recent guest was our biggest yet: Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson. You can listen here:
As many followers already know, I used to co-host the Point of Inquiry podcast with Indre Viskontas. But that ended, for reasons explained here.
But since September, Indre & I have been podcasting at the Climate Desk, with a new show entitled “Inquiring Minds.” Here’s a recent episode:
We’ve done 10 episodes so far, and response has been dramatic. We’ve had well over 100,000 downloads and plays in just two months (the show above, with Jonathan Haidt, is one of our most popular so far). It is fair to say that we are psyched.
You can subscribe to Inquiring Minds via iTunes or RSS, and you can stream the show online at SoundCloud. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thanks!
If you want to see my latest work, check me out at Mother Jones. Also, check out my books at bottom right–and follow me on Twitter, where a lot of the action is currently happening.
Finally, here’s a video of a recent talk:
The latest Point of Inquiry just went up. Here, I’m previewing the upcoming Women in Secularism conference in D.C. by interviewing Amanda Marcotte, a fantastic writer who has, like me, regularly covered the conservative “war on science”–but also writes more broadly on politics, pop culture, and feminism.
Our conversation had some range, but the central theme was exploring irrationalities on the Christian Right, and also at times in the male secular world, when it comes to women and feminism.
I do want to note one disagreement with Marcotte: She challenged whether there are gender differences when it comes to a personality trait like empathy/compassion. But it looks to me like the science supports this idea.
Overall, though, hope you enjoy the show!
I’m flying back to the east coast today, after a weekend and a bit more in Arizona, at the Tucson Festival of Books and then speaking to the Phoenix Area Skeptics Society.
Audience at the Tucson Festival of Books
It was a great series of talks and proves that interest in The Republican Brain remains high. Plus, I got to meet co-panelists Rafe Sagarin, author of Learning from the Octopus, and John Nichols of the Nation, who snapped this picture of the packed audience at one of our sessions.
I wrapped things up with a talk to Freethought Arizona and packed talk last night in Tempe to the Phoenix Area Skeptics Society. Overall, the experience fired me up to work on trying to get out a paperback version of the book, which is now about a year old.
The Republican Brain is just about a year old now–but sales and interest are not flagging. It’s my most reviewed book on Amazon by far, and that’s not just because of all the 1 star reviews from right wingers who haven’t read it!
This coming weekend, I’ll be giving a multitude of talks about the book in Arizona–first, at the magnificent Tucson Festival of Books, and then outside it. So here is a list of events: [click to continue…]
Following on the last post, I can now share my written Mother Jones rebuttal to Michael Shermer on the left, the right, and science.
Shermer penned a piece on the “Liberal War on Science” in Scientific American–I explain why he’s way off. This, in particular, is noteworthy:
“Shermer’s article ends with a statement that, as far as I can tell, is just incorrect: ‘Surveys show that moderate liberals and conservatives embrace science roughly equally,’ he writes. I’m not sure where he gets this, but for a direct rebuttal let me point you to a recent study in the American Sociological Review by Gordon Gauchat, which finds that unlike liberals or moderates, conservatives have lost trust in science rather precipitously over the past several decades.”
You can read the full item here.
A few nights back I was on the Agenda With Steve Paikin, alongside Michael Shermer and Mark Lynas, discussing the “anti-science left.”
My view is that while there are anti-science views on the left wing, they’re swamped by what’s on the right, and that’s really the nature of things–liberals and scientists are allies (and conservatives and scientists are opposed) due to their psychology.
So I didn’t agree with the centrist, pox-on-both-houses framing of the show (and the opinion of Michael Shermer, who argues this). Still, it was a good, meaty discussion: