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More on Communicating Science

This note is in response to Saul Green,1 who was responding to Mary Woolley's call for scientists to reach out to nonscientists.2 Green says he and his colleagues have been trying to do this for many years but without apparent success. I believe I can see why. It is not, as he implies, the "closedness" of those who, for example, believe in homeopathy and are therefore unresponsive to scientific refutation of that belief system. Rather it appears to be the mutual "closedness" of two distinct beli

Michael R.olson

This note is in response to Saul Green,1 who was responding to Mary Woolley's call for scientists to reach out to nonscientists.2 Green says he and his colleagues have been trying to do this for many years but without apparent success. I believe I can see why. It is not, as he implies, the "closedness" of those who, for example, believe in homeopathy and are therefore unresponsive to scientific refutation of that belief system. Rather it appears to be the mutual "closedness" of two distinct belief systems. Green, the believer in the rightness of the scientific view that homeopathy is malarkey, is disconcerted in not being able to rehabilitate the believer in homeopathy and probably vice versa. In this situation, there can and will be no communication.

To get communication started requires each viewpoint to set aside its "true beliefs" and look for a common ground for communication....

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