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Communicating climate change in digital spaces: How sceptical views of science and knowledge overconfidence challenge science communication on social media

With Dr Niels Mede
22 Jun 2023
With Dr Niels Mede

Public and scholarly debate about the role of social media in science communication is rife with concerns that social networking sites and instant messengers harbour critical views toward science and cause users to think that they know more about science than they actually do. Niels G. Mede has studied these concerns for different scientific issues, including climate change. In his talk, he will first give an overview of this research and then present results from two recent studies. These investigated whether science scepticism and knowledge overconfidence predict how people inform themselves and communicate about issues like climate change on social media. He will also present evidence on whether a link between critical views of science, overconfidence, and social media behaviour can be found for other scientific topics (i.e. COVID-19). He will conclude his talk by discussing implications for online science communication against the backdrop of an upcoming global survey on public attitudes to (climate) science and digital media use.