Public mistrust of science
Location: Alan MacDiarmid LT103 (AM LT103), Kelburn campus
Scientific evidence seems to have lost its authority to persuade. In a new world of easily accessible, rapid, mass communication all kinds of ideas - good and bad - can travel fast. A deluge of information leads to people seeking simplicity, yet ideas without evidence may often be dressed up in the sometimes deliberately obscure language of science. In this talk Richard Arnold will discuss some of the reasons why it's hard for evidence to be seen as convincing in today's world. He'll use examples from statistics, politics, health and sport to investigate why and when we choose to believe.
Richard Arnold began his research career in astronomy, and after working in medical and official statistics is a statistician and data scientist. He has published in a variety of domains of applied statistics including statistical seismology, fisheries and the theory of reliability. He has an interest in the communication of science and has been the election night statistician for TVNZ at the last four elections.