Science Literacy in the Misinformation Age – #LMASA

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chuck Nice and David Helfand in the StarTalk Radio studio. Credit: Ben Ratner.
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About This Episode

Continuing with our Let’s Make America Smart Again series, Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and astronomer David Helfand are here to sift through the data and help you stay scientifically literate in the misinformation age. David discusses the “absent curation” of daily data and how the creation of search engines was helpful but also created more intricate problems. You’ll hear about science browsers and filters, why science might be too successful, and David’s top three tools you can use to sift through misinformation. David describes teaching at Quest University Canada, where he allowed students to “construct knowledge” instead of feeding them a constant stream of information. Discover more about the “reproducibility crisis” in the science community. Learn about the role that scientists play in the age of misinformation and about the many biases scientists can be exposed to – and persuaded by – during their research. Explore why the democratization of information is good overall but comes with baggage and responsibility. Dive into David’s book, A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind. All that, plus, Neil and company answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about a variety of topics including the Dark Ages, dark matter, a global space agency, the correct definition of a fact, dealing with the anti-science culture, and using social media to confront alternative facts.

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