School of Psychology Seminar Series

Date Monday 9 November 2020
Time 1pm - 2pm
Location University of Waikato - MSB.1.01
Presenter Professor Marc Wilson
Contact Chellie Keenan
Contact email
Cost Free

Wilful ignorance: Why do people ignore expert consensus on scientific issues? by Professor Marc Wilson

If scientists believe, argue, and overwhelming take the position that anthropogenic climate change is a reality, humans evolved from simpler organisms, and Covid is rather more dangerous than the common flu, why don't lay people just throw up their hands and do as science tells us? Is it really 'just' about communicating this expert consensus? In this talk, Marc will discuss the role of political attitudes, and trust in science and scientists, in understanding people's beliefs about things like climate change, evolution, and Covid-19.

Marc Wilson is a Professor of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. While much of his current research focuses on adolescent mental health, he has a long-standing interest in political psychology. Much of this research draws on individual difference explanations (e.g., authoritarianism and social dominance) for differences in voting preference and attitudes to specific political and social issues. In recent times, this has meant a series of studies driven by his students around the subjects of public understandings of climate change and other scientific issues.