Know your brain: how to debunk a myth

December 1, 2011

Nowadays, scientists increasingly recognize the need to step up as teachers in the public sphere. However, many scientists labor under the delusion that if we make a good argument–airtight, logical, full of verified facts–then our job is done. If the recipient of our spiel doesn’t get it, then it’s on them (poor ignorant fool) we’ve done our part.

But convincing someone, especially when it means dissuading them of what they think they know, is far more complicated. The folks at Skeptical Science have a great resource–a downloadable PDF called the Debunking Handbook–that lays out the science and sociology of debunking myths. A bit of summary below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »