Why? Radio episode 82: "Why Don't People Believe Science?" with guest David Kahan


Episode 82
"Why Don't People Believe Science?"
Dan M. Kahan

Originally broadcast: August 9, 2015


Every day, people reject evolution and climate change, arguing instead for their personal beliefs over evidence. Despite years of education and more access to information than any time in history, people are rejecting vaccinations and forsaking personal savings for the lottery. On this episode of Why? Radio we look at the science of science communication and the patterns behind why people reject science.

Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. In addition to risk perception, his areas of research include criminal law and evidence. Prior to coming to Yale in 1999, Professor Kahan was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School. He also served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court (1990-91) and to Judge Harry Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1989-90). He received his B.A. from Middlebury College and his J.D. from Harvard University.

Dan is a lead researcher for The Cultural Cognition Project, a group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Visit that webpage here: http://www.culturalcognition.net/


The text of the monologue that begins this episode can be found at Why? Radio's blog, PQED.

The episode was funded, in part, by a generous contribution from William and Jody Haug. If you'd like to sponsor an episode, please visit our donate page.

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