Dates: Tuesday 2 February 2021

Speaker: Dr Jim Baggott

Start Time: 18.30

Finish Time: 20.00

Location: Zoom


Dr Baggott is an award-winning popular science writer and author, with more than 20 years’ experience writing on topics in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. His articles have appeared in online and offline media, and he has made many appearances on radio and television.


Embracing Your Inner Spock: A Framework for Thinking Critically About Scientific Issues

If we wish to resist anti-scientific propaganda then we must first learn how to spot it, understand how such propaganda works, and know where to find information about the scientific consensus.

At present, there is no easy way to navigate online sources – for example, websites devoted to climate change denial or intelligent design appear in themselves to be
authoritative, and will often quote the views of a sympathetic minority of academics (such as e.g. biologist Michael Behe, who argues for intelligent design). There are some signs that this is changing, as witnessed by Pinterest’s recent decision to direct users entering vaccination-related search terms to authoritative online sources.

However, for the time being, it’s up to us, and the lecture will conclude with some guidelines for finding reliable scientific information online.