The Age of Misinformation: Fake Science and Irrational Beliefs - featuring Chris Impey / University of Arizona

For science and scientists, it is the best of times and the worst of times. Scientific progress is rapid and scientists are held in high esteem by the general public, but scientific literacy is low and most people have only a vague idea about how science works. Worse, a substantial fraction of the public is skeptical on issues where the scientific consensus is emphatic: global climate change, evolution, and even the age of the Earth. We are awash in misinformation, and the problem is exacerbated by its rapid spread via social media. In science, the problem manifests as susceptibility to pseudoscience, superstition, and conspiracy theories. The onus is on scientists and educators to get out in public, communicate clearly, and tell the many compelling stories of discovery that breathe life into science.