What's wrong with science? Has science become a (contested) belief system?

David R. Low, Lynne Eagle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Disagreement with scientific evidence is manifest across a wide range of issues impacting on health, well-being and environmental issues. The purpose of this discussion is to review the nature of the disagreement across three broad sectors - climate change, vaccine hesitancy and adoption of renewable energy technology - highlighting commonalities in the rejection of scientific consensus and in the way opposition is organised and communicated.
    The paper reviews the literature relating to scientific disagreement, the challenges of scientific certainty, weaknesses in relevant theories, and a range of challenges to effective scientific communication. A brief analysis of government and sceptics' websites is provided to illustrate these challenges.
    There are distinct differences between the approaches taken by governmental communicators and sceptics, with implications for the way that risk and uncertainty should be communicated in future. Recommendations for improving communications to lay audiences are provided together with directions for future research.
    This paper is primarily conceptual. The issue addressed in this paper would benefit from research that identifies the optimal communications strategies that will be effective across different population segments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-126
    Number of pages22
    JournalSocial Business
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    Dive into the research topics of 'What's wrong with science? Has science become a (contested) belief system?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this