April 23-24, 2012

Madison, WI

“Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.” -Thomas Huxley

Introduction

Science writers now work in an age where uncomfortable ideas and truths meet organized resistance. Opposing scientific consensus on such things as anthropogenic climate change, the theory of evolution, and even the astonishingly obvious benefits of vaccination has become politically de rigueur, a litmus test and a genuine threat to science. How does denial affect the craft of the science writer? How can science writers effectively explain disputed science? What’s the big picture? Are denialists ever right?

To find out, join us in Madison, Wis. on April 23-24, 2012, for Science Writing in the Age of Denial, a conference and workshop for science writers to explore the phenomenon of denial and how to address issues of science in question. The daylong conference April 23 will examine the history of organized doubt, denial and political persuasion, journalistic insight into the phenomenon, and an exploration of denialist themes that transcend political and topical boundaries. The conference will be followed by a half-day workshop on the morning of April 24. The workshop is intended to help science writers explore practical strategies and tactics for reporting and writing about science in the crosshairs of denial.