Science is under increasingly attack by quacks, cranks and miscellaneous anti-science activists. What is worse, pseudoscience has also infiltrated medical centers and governments. Politicians push faulty ideological narratives, destabilize democratic values and reject strongly supported facts on climate, evolution, vaccines and many more. This is not a new phenomenon. However, there is recent surge in well-funded and organized campaigns that spread misinformation about current events, science and medicine. This is further aggravated and amplified by social media filter bubbles where people chose what ideological content they want to see and ignore the rest. Even more deceptively, some search engines silently adapt to your habits. They show you information that match your preferences and enhance your already existing biases.
When pseudoscience activists have gained more and more political power. Even though they got to where they are based on fake news and misinformation, they accuse mainstream news and scientific knowledge of being “fake”. They push outright lies as “alternative facts” and crack down on government agencies that gather scientific data or improve public health. There is even a risk that they might purge climate data or attack the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
Defending Science: new companion website relaunching
Since starting in 2010, Debunking Denialism has published over 370 articles refuting pseudoscientific nonsense on a wide range of topics, from creationist and anti-vaccine nonsense to climate denial and anti-psychiatry. Recently, the amount of material posted has gone up from 4-5 per month to one post per weekday. During January of 2017, Debunking Denialism has so far put out 22 articles. However, with the attack on scientific knowledge, this is not enough. We must boost the signal of scientific knowledge to help drown out the noise of misinformation.
This is why the companion website to Debunking Denialism is relaunching.
It is now Defending Science (battleforscience.com) and has the tagline “In an age of misinformation, spreading free science resources becomes a revolutionary act.”
It will follow the same general format as its predecessor Knowledge Conquest and gather high-quality science resources in physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, math, earth science and coding. However, and this is crucial, it will put a lot of effort into spreading science resources on scientific areas that are being actively attacked by governments, such as climate science and vaccines. It is not merely a rebranding. It is a reinvigoration. As governments try to attack science, it will hopefully lead to a powerful Streisand effect where people are more interested to access and spread information that is being attacked.
Like Debunking Denialism, Defending Science has been posting one new science resource per weekday during most January of 2017 with a total of 15 articles this month. In total, it currently has over 150 posts with free textbooks, video lectures and papers.
What can you do?
If you care about science and skepticism, start a Twitter account, a Facebook page and/or a blog of your own. Every contributing to boosting the signal and drowning out the noise helps. Don’t spend too much time arguing in comment sections. It will just make you tired and what you write will be lost in the archives of social media. Make your own content instead.
If you like the content posted on Debunking Denialism or Defending Science, consider becoming a patron on Patreon by pledging $1 per month. It won’t get you anything extra (all my content should be free), but it helps to cover the basic operational costs of these projects and might in the future enable me to do this full-time. An alternative is to run ads on these websites, but I hate ads and would rather like to avoid it as long as possible.
Follow Defending Science on Facebook and Twitter or grab the RSS feed to stay current with new material being posted.
Let’s take on the enemies of science and reason.
Support more articles like this at patreon.com/emilskeptic.
Follow Debunking Denialism on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for new updates.
Follow Defending Science on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for new updates.
Follow Emil Karlsson on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for broader perspectives.