Two Events – “Communicating Climate Change” and “Presentation of ‘The Republican Brain'”

Chris Mooney, Science Political Journalist and Author


Recent polls show that over 70 percent of Americans see climate change as serious, real, and worthy of policy responses from federal elected officials, who, in turn, seem afflicted by a mental disconnect on the science. And that’s happening along partisan lines. Why?

Bestselling author Chris Mooney uses cutting-edge research to explain the psychology of why Republicans reject the scientific consensus on climate change, and do so by a wide margin when compared with other party affiliations.

The author of The Republican War on Science, the most influential book to look at conservative rejection of scientific evidence, will lead two provocative discussions on the subject, including denial of global expert consensus on climate change. Mooney will also review positions on the economy, American history, and foreign policy.

Science writer Chris Mooney explores brain scans, polls, cognitive processing and psychology experiments to explain why conservatives today tend to disagree with scientific consensus where it confronts their bedrock beliefs, and appear more likely than Democrats to oppose new ideas and less likely to change their beliefs in the face of new facts.  Mooney’s insights result in novel conclusions.

  • He goes beyond claims about ignorance or corporate malfeasance to discover scientific reasons why Republicans reject the widely accepted findings of mainstream science, economics, and history, as well as popularize incorrect governmental policy “facts” (e.g., there were no “death panels” in the health care bill).
  • He explains that the political parties reflect personality and psychological traits with Republicans more wedded to certainty, Democrats to innovation—and this is the root of our divide.

During the afternoon workshop, Chris will equip climate communicators with more insights for reaching an array of decision makers. Certain to spark discussion and debate, the evening presentation by the author of The Republican Brain promises to shed light on numerous Republican positions on scientific findings. We look forward to creating communication strategies that bridge the values gap, engage skeptical citizens and government leaders, and build consensus for climate change solutions.

Background Info

Chris Mooney is also the bestselling author of The Republican War on Science, the host of the “Point of Inquiry” podcast, and the author of “The Intersection” blog for Science Progress. In addition to three books, in the past he has written for Mother Jones, the American Prospect, Harper’s, the Washington Post, USA Today, and Slate. He has appeared on The Last Word, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Book TV, Science Friday, Morning Joe, and Fresh Air, among other programs.

Power Point

Republican Brain