To debate or not debate? Examining the effects of scientists engaging in debates addressing contentious issues

David Morin
2018 JCOM: Journal of Science Communication  
According to the Gateway Belief Model, scientists and science educators should stress the scientific consensus when engaging with the lay population across a wide variety of mediums, including debates. The purpose of this study, then, was to determine if engaging in such debates does more harm than good in terms of persuading individuals towards accepting the scientific consensus of controversial issues. Participants (N = 208) read a manipulated debate segment altered by the issue discussed as
more » ... issue discussed as well as the position/title of the skeptic debater. Results indicate that it is possible to influence individuals exposed to these debate segments, but the effects are issue-contingent. Limitations and future research related to science education are discussed.
doi:10.22323/2.17040202 fatcat:xtjbc4mpgja5hhjaduzv7gr63i