Talking with Chris Hayes and Chris Mooney about denial of science
I was on Up, with Chris Hayes, talking with Chris Mooney (author of The Republican Brain), John McWhorter, and Michelle Goldberg, about the psychology of science denial. I think Mooney is summarizing the literature correctly in saying that conservatives are psychologically different from liberals, in ways that feed in to the current denial of science. But I point out that both sides deny science when it contradicts their sacred values. The two sides are not equal nowadays — the Republican Party is spinning away from reality, as Mann and Ornstein argue. But this is a recent development — not an eternal fact about conservatives, and it is to some degree a reaction to the increasing liberalism of scientists. I suggest that the best way to reach agreement is by indirect methods, creating trusting relationships first, before letting people discuss and debate across party lines.