This year’s self-paced run of our free online course, Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, started on February 9, 2021 and it will be available until December 14, 2021. This means that we reached the halfway point with 5 months already behind and 5 more months ahead of us! For the current run we are closing in on 1,000 registered participants and it’s not too late to join them as you’ll have ample time to work through the material at your own pace. The following graphic is a quick summary of our MOOC, shared at this year’s General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (vEGU21) in a session about climate literacy:
Here is my 2 minutes “elevator pitch” for Denial101x to accompany this one slide summary:
- Denial101x is a Massive Open Online Course – or MOOC – offered by the University of Queensland and the Skeptical Science team.
- Since 2015 we’ve had more than 40,000 participants from over 180 countries.
- The MOOC has 60 lectures about climate science and debunking misconceptions about it.
- 40 expert interviews go along with the lectures.
- Interactive exercises deepen the learning and regularly trigger discussions in the forums.
- The lectures follow the Fact-Myth-Fallacy structure of effective debunking.
- Start with the FACT and follow the golden rule of debunking by fighting sticky myths with stickier facts.
- Before mentioning the misconception preceed it with a warning to put people on guard.
- Finally, explain the FALLACY employed by the myth.
- Science denial has five main tell-tale techniques which can be summarized with the acronym FLICC:
- Fake experts are people who convey the appearance of expertise without possessing any actual relevant expertise.
- Logical fallacies are false arguments leading to an invalid conclusion.
- Impossible expectations demand unrealistic standards of proof before acting on the science.
- Cherry picking involves focusing on select pieces of data while ignoring anything conflicting with the desired conclusion.
- Conspiracy theories are created when science deniers accuse the world’s scientists of a massive, global conspiracy.
- Denial101x lectures explain how these and other fallacies are used to distort the facts about human-caused climate change.
The full presentation with a lot more details is available here (PDF, 7MB). In addition, a poster about Denial101x has been presented at various conferences and you can glean at least a rough idea about our MOOC’s content from it (click the image for a larger version or download the poster as a PDF-file, but with 26MB it’s fairly large):
You can sign up for free via the edX website.
Hope to see you there!