One science writer’s response to hate mail

This fantastic blog post by Christie Aschwanden offers several examples of, shall we say, colourful responses she has received for her science writing.  Instead of dismissing these responses, she offers her hypothesis as to why people (even smart science-y people!) can have a hard time accepting that their long-held beliefs may not be so true.  Quoting directly from her article (which is a transcript of a talk she gave in October, interspersed with slides), she summarizes the common thought process that occurs in these moments:

Instead of thinking, hmmmm, maybe I need to reassess here, what most of us do is go back and think about why we’d come to those beliefs in the first place. And in the process of doing that, we remember how great those reasons were and we end up reinforcing our original beliefs. Instead of re-evaluating, you become more sure of yourself.

A great read for anyone who has had to defend the scientific method to their family and friends.

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