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Pre-Summit Workshop

Responding to Misinformation in the Age of Fake News
Thursday, March 16th from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. 

Join Dr. John Cook, Research Assistant Professor from the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, to learn the psychology and techniques behind debunking myths at the Responding to Misinformation in the Age of Fake News workshop.Dr. John Cook’s workshop Responding to Misinformation in the Age of Fake News is full.

We will see many of you there! If you did not get into the workshop, don’t despair. You can catch Dr. Cook on Friday at the Round Table Conversations at 1:25 pm, or attend his Countering Facts and Post Truthisms session at 4:00 pm.

 

John Cook Interviewing Sir David Attenborough for Massive Online Open Course (MOOC).
John Cook Interviewing Sir David Attenborough for Massive Online Open Course (MOOC).

What you will learn

Have you ever noticed people holding fast to false information when given the facts? Oftentimes we communicate in ways which reinforce misconceptions rather than dispelling them. Come learn the research-based methods, which will help you design your critical conversations, and communication campaigns for success. In this workshop you will delve into the concepts behind designing effective communications strategies, and then practice to hone your skills.

The Responding to Misinformation in the Age of Fake News workshop is part informative lecture, part interactive group workshop to give participants hands on experience. You will have time to collaboratively select specific myths with your colleagues, and then debunk them. Come learn:

  • Which fallacies and techniques myths employ to distort facts
  • Optimal ways to construct an effective debunking, based on psychological research
  • How to construct a factual alternative to replace the myth
  • How to make a myth sandwich that will leave your audience satisfied and fact filled

Most of the examples demonstrated in the workshop will be climate related, but the workshop addresses the universal psychological process of combating myths of many differing types, and can be applied to a host of situations and topics. Dr. Cook has run workshops for scientists, doctors, NGOs, and educators, among others.

Who should attend?  

  • Educators
  • Nonprofits
  • Climate communicators
  • Environmentalists
  • Change makers
  • Physical scientists
  • Social scientists

 

About John Cook, PhD.

John Cook is a Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. He founded Skeptical Science, a website which won the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge and 2016 Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. John co-authored the college textbooks Climate Change: Examining the Facts with Weber State University professor Daniel Bedford. He was also a coauthor of the textbook Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis and the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand. In 2013, he published a paper analyzing the scientific consensus on climate change that has been highlighted by President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He recently completed a PhD in cognitive psychology, researching how people think about climate change, and developed a Massive Open Online Course on climate science denial.