Denying to the Grave Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us, Revised and Updated Edition

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Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2021-06-01
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Summary

With science denial as a rising danger to public health, Sara E. Gorman and Jack M. Gorman analyze society's resistance to scientific evidence relating to health and safety, and the tools to combat these tendencies.

Why do some parents decide not to vaccinate their children? Why do some people keep guns at home, despite ample evidence that doing so increases the risk of a gun-related injury? And why do people use antibiotics for illnesses that antibiotics cannot possibly alleviate? When it comes to health, many people believe that science is wrong, that the evidence is incomplete, and that unidentified hazards lurk everywhere.

In Denying to the Grave, Sara Gorman and Jack Gorman explore the psychology of health science denial. Using several examples as case studies, they propose six key principles that may lead people to reject "accepted" health-related wisdom: the charismatic leader; fear of complexity; confirmation bias; fear of corporate and government conspiracies; causality and filling the ignorance gap; and the nature of risk prediction. This fully updated and expanded new edition of Denying to the Grave reviews the most recent research on health science denial, offering a brand new chapter on how the contemporary "assault on science" waged by certain political administrations has eroded public trust in national health and science agencies, such as CDC, FDA, and EPA. Also new to this edition is a chapter investigating the relationship between health crises and misinformation, and what happens to science denial amidst a global public health crisis. Finally, the book proposes a novel approach to counteracting misinformation and improving our ability to understand and accept scientific consensus.

In an era in which trust in science has become more important, and yet more elusive, than ever before, Denying to the Grave sheds light on why we often choose to ignore scientific evidence, pointing the way toward a new understanding of how science should be conveyed to the public in order to save lives with existing knowledge and technology.

Author Biography


Sara E. Gorman, PhD, MPH, is a public health and behavioral science expert and has written extensively about global health, science communication, psychology, and mental health, among other topics. Dr. Gorman's work has appeared in or been covered by TIME, The New Yorker, Science, Psychology Today, The Atlantic, the BBC, and NPR. She is also co-founder and CEO of Critica, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public acceptance of science, counteracting misinformation about science and health, and increasing the use of scientific evidence in public policymaking.

Jack M. Gorman, MD, served on the faculty of Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry for over 25 years, eventually serving as Lieber Professor of Psychiatry. He then became the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Professor of Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is currently CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Franklin Behavioral Health Consultants. He is also the co-founder and president of Critica, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public acceptance of science, counteracting misinformation about science and health, and increasing the use of scientific evidence in public policymaking.

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