Our friend and contributor Stephan Lewandowsky has an interesting study in press in a psychology journal called Motivated Rejection of Science.
The researchers, led by UWA School of Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, found that free-market ideology was an overwhelmingly strong determinant of the rejection of climate science. It also predicted the rejection of the link between tobacco and lung cancer and between HIV and AIDS. Conspiratorial thinking was a lesser but still significant determinant of the rejection of all scientific propositions examined, from climate to lung cancer.
By contrast, a major determinant of the acceptance of science was the perceived consensus among scientists. The more agreement among scientists, the more people were likely to accept the scientific findings. “It is important to understand the role of perceived consensus because it highlights how damaging the media’s handling of climate issues can be when they create the appearance of a scientific debate where there is none.
Unspoken because not scientifically relevant is that the press allows political partisans to influence them to create that appearance.