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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 22, @01:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the if-you-change-your-mind-I'm-the-first-in-line dept.

https://phys.org/news/2022-06-science-coverage-climate-mindsbriefly.html

Science reporting on climate change does lead Americans to adopt more accurate beliefs and support government action on the issue—but these gains are fragile, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that these accurate beliefs fade quickly and can erode when people are exposed to coverage skeptical of climate change.

"It is not the case that the American public does not respond to scientifically informed reporting when they are exposed to it," said Thomas Wood, associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.

"But even factually accurate science reporting recedes from people's frame of reference very quickly."

"Not only did science reporting change people's factual understanding, it also moved their political preferences," he said. "It made them think that climate change was a pressing government concern that government should do more about."

[...] Overall, the results suggest that the media play a key role in Americans' beliefs and attitudes about scientific issues like climate change.

"It was striking to us how amenable the subjects in our study were to what they read about climate change in our study. But what they learned faded very quickly," Wood said. The results of the study conflict with the media imperative to only report on what is new.

More information: Time and skeptical opinion content erode the effects of science coverage on climate beliefs and attitudes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2122069119.

 
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FatPhil on Wednesday June 22, @04:08PM (4 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday June 22, @04:08PM (#1255387) Homepage
    The solution is openness, and once you have that you can also have proper accountability too.

    A few bad scientists, like a spoon of shit in a barrel of fine armanac, can ruin it for everyone.
    A few good politicians, like a spoon of fine armagnac in a dumpster full of shit, can't improve things at all.
    The shit has a huge leverage advantage. Only accountability can get rid of the shit.

    Once you have the openness and the accountability, you can finally stop relying on trust.
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday June 22, @04:48PM (1 child)

    by HiThere (866) on Wednesday June 22, @04:48PM (#1255394) Journal

    I wish that were true. When I see the way problems with Free Software are handled in the media compared to problems with commercial software, I doubt it. Openness won't make the problems magically disappear, but it will make any problems more visible.

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday June 23, @04:19PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday June 23, @04:19PM (#1255616)

      And when you have the accountability of commercial software, where you can point a finger at a single company being the source of a software problem, it's still a big issue. So while openness and accountability help improve the quality of software when it comes out of the gate, it seems like eternal vigilance is the only thing that really keeps problems from becoming huge issues in software.

  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday June 23, @04:12PM (1 child)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday June 23, @04:12PM (#1255612)

    The shit has a huge leverage advantage. Only accountability can get rid of the shit.

    How about microwaving the whole thing? The shit will still be there, but all the dangerous parts will be dead.