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Science communication in the face of skepticism, populism, and ignorance: what ‘Don’t Look Up’ tells us about science denial — and what it doesn’t


Mede, Niels G (2022). Science communication in the face of skepticism, populism, and ignorance: what ‘Don’t Look Up’ tells us about science denial — and what it doesn’t. JCOM : Journal of Science Communication, 21(05):C05.

Abstract

‘Don’t Look Up’ tells the story of a team of astrophysicists whose efforts to warn politicians, media makers, and the public about an apocalyptic comet impact on planet Earth are undermined by fundamental skepticism toward their expertise. On the one hand, the film offers a rich portrayal of contemporary anti-science sentiments, their societal conditions, and the media and communication ecology surrounding them. But on the other hand, ‘Don’t Look Up’ ignores and exaggerates several facets of those sentiments and the communicative settings in which they spread. This commentary analyzes this contrast through a science communication lens: it scrutinizes the (mis)representation of science denial and science communication in ‘Don’t Look Up’ — and aims to inspire further debate about portrayals of anti-science phenomena and potential remedies within popular media

Abstract

‘Don’t Look Up’ tells the story of a team of astrophysicists whose efforts to warn politicians, media makers, and the public about an apocalyptic comet impact on planet Earth are undermined by fundamental skepticism toward their expertise. On the one hand, the film offers a rich portrayal of contemporary anti-science sentiments, their societal conditions, and the media and communication ecology surrounding them. But on the other hand, ‘Don’t Look Up’ ignores and exaggerates several facets of those sentiments and the communicative settings in which they spread. This commentary analyzes this contrast through a science communication lens: it scrutinizes the (mis)representation of science denial and science communication in ‘Don’t Look Up’ — and aims to inspire further debate about portrayals of anti-science phenomena and potential remedies within popular media

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Uncontrolled Keywords:Communication
Language:English
Date:4 July 2022
Deposited On:15 Nov 2022 14:24
Last Modified:16 Nov 2022 21:31
Publisher:SISSA, Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati
ISSN:1824-2049
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.22323/2.21050305
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)