Tamsin Edwards, who writes the All Models Are Wrong blog, has a new post called Nine Lessons and Carols in Communicating Climate Uncertainty, which Judith Curry also highlights in a recent post.
The nine lesson that Tamsin summarises are
- People have a finite pool of worry
- People interpret uncertainty as ignorance
- People are uncomfortable with uncertainty
- People do accept the existence of risk
- Scientists have little training in public communication
- Journalists have little (statistical) training
- Newspaper editors are extremely shallow, generally
- There are many types of climate sceptic
- Trust is important
I think Tamsin makes some quite interesting and valid points about what is clearly an important topic. I haven’t, to be honest, read through it all in great detail, but it seemed mostly quite sensible. I was tempted to comment on the post but, unfortunately, the comments there are largely from those I’ve already encountered, have no wish to encounter again, and have already blocked on Twitter, or from those I have not yet encountered, have no wish to encounter, and would likely block on Twitter if I did. I do find it a little disappointing that I can see no reason to comment on a blog run by an active climate scientist.
So, why did I write this, I hear you ask? It’s because I think there is one lesson that Tamsin has ignored and that I think is quite important. If you don’t consider this, then – in my opinion – communicating science, and uncertainty, becomes increasingly difficult. The final lesson I would add is :
- Some people’s ideas about science – in particular climate science – are simply wrong, and we should not be afraid to tell them so.