Lewandowsky Cook and Ecker (who he?) have two new articles at the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
“…explores the growing abundance of misinformation, how it influences people, and how to counter it. And outlines “a number of recommendations to counter misinformation in a post-truth world.”
welcomes “the nine constructive and insightful commentaries on our target article” and synthesizes “the suggestions from the commentary into a proposal that may help overcome the post-truth malaise, provided a final obstacle can be overcome. This obstacle is the gorilla in the room: Policy making in the United States is largely independent of the public’s wishes but serves the interests of economic elites.”
Members of the public who want to learn more about Lewandowsky’s campaign to take policy making out of the hands of economic élites and hand it back to the people are invited to fork out $63 for 24 hours access to the two articles, and a further $31.50 for each of the “nine constructive and insightful commentaries.”
Or you can get a peek at some of the first pages by clicking here
For example, R. Kelly Garrett, School of Communication, Ohio State University, in his or her constructive and insightful commentary, says
The importance of the arguments made in “Beyond misinformation” (Lewandowsky, Ecker, & Cook, 2017) is difficult to underestimate.
Or, to put it another way, easy to overestimate.
The primary goal of this response, however, is not to underscore the article’s insights. Those contributions speak for themselves. Lewandowsky, Ecker, and Cook (2017) cover considerable intellectual territory..
Well I’m sure they do. But what territory exactly?
Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap come straight to the point in their commentary: “Combatting Misinformation Requires Recognizing Its Types and the Factors That Facilitate Its Spread and Resonance.” It’s all about climate denial.
As sociologists who have studied organized climate change denial and the political polarization on anthropogenic climate change that it has produced in the US since the late 1990s, we have closely followed the work of Lewandowsky and his collaborators over the years. Like them, we have observed how the “climate change denial countermovement” has employed the strategy of manufacturing uncertainty — long used by industry to undermine scientific evidence of the harmful effects of products ranging from asbestos to DDT and especially tobacco smoke — to turn human-caused climate change into a controversial issue in contemporary American society. And, like Lewandowsky, Ecker, and Cook (2017) in “Beyond Misinformation,” we view these past efforts as key contributors to the present situation in which pervasive misinformation has generated “alternative facts,” pseudoscience claims, and real “fake news”—a “post-truth era” indeed.
Indeed. These “past efforts” are “key contributors to the present situation” in which large swathes of the population believe that tobacco smoke, DDT and asbestos are good for you. Don’t they? Where was I? Oh yes, Dunlap and McCright on alternative facts.
The current state of affairs has provoked much consternation among academics … Within this context, we widen our scope beyond climate change denial to discuss misinformation more generally and, in doing so, offer a sociological response to Lewandowsky et al. (2017), aimed at complementing and extending their analysis.
[At the bottom of page one of the Dunlap and McCright article is this peculiar little Author Note:
For their respect for facts, dedication to truth, and pursuit of justice, we thank Eric Schneiderman, and Robert Mueller, as well as Mueller’s all-star team …
I can think of a country or two where it might be normal for a scientist to thank effusively government employees for doing their job properly, but the USA? Is it post-normal for visions of gorillas in the mist to lead to such rank arselicking?]
Fortunately there’s a prepublished version of “Beyond Misinformation” at
while “Letting the Gorilla Emerge From the Mist: Getting Past Post-Truth” can be found at:
and McCright Dunlap‘s “Combatting Misinformation Requires Recognizing Its Types and the Factors That Facilitate Its Spread and Resonance” is here
Happy New Year, and good reading.