The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science CHRIS MOONEY (2011) author, The Republican War on ScienceWritten on August 14th, 2021
The UN’s latest report paints a frightening picture of the time we’ve wasted and the urgency with which we must act to avert the worst of climate change. The daily news tells us that the unvaccinated are welcome hosts for the deadly evolution of Covid19 – though they may not believe in either. Journalist and author CHRIS MOONEY has been tracking the costs of science denial for years – long before Trumps presidence. Here’s our 2011 conversation re his articles, THE SCIENCE OF WHY WE DON’T BELIEVE SCIENCE and THE REALITY GAP.
Crazy though it may be, I assume many have accepted the fact that the Republican party has a problem with science and ultimately with evidence facts — reality. It is now a matter of politics for them to deny science. Among their presidential primary candidates, only Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney accept that warming is happening and humans are a contributing factor.
CHRIS MOONEY has been on this trail for years. In 2005, he wrote the best-selling
THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE. By the time their anti-science, anti-reality bias was established, MOONEY was asking a deeper question. Did science have anything to teach us about why? And it turns out, recently, science does. That brings us to Chris’s new book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality.
According to Mooney, from climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing. Not only that, so is denial of expert consensus on the economy, American history, foreign policy, and much more. Why won’t Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why do they fight facts? He writes that the political parties reflect personality traits and psychological needs -Republicans wedded to certainty, Democrats to novelty – and this is the root of our divide over reality.
Hopefully, understanding how or why Republicans deny science and facts should suggest ways to interact and work with that “reality” differently in order to be more effective moving forward.
Chris Mooney is senior correspondent for The American Prospect magazine, and author of The Republican War on Science; Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming; and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored with Sheril Kirshenbaum, with whom he also writes "The Intersection" blog. You can find the intersection blog at discovermagazine.com. In 2005 Chris was named one of Wired magazine's ten "sexiest geeks."