From economics + linguistics, we’ve splashed into creating a science police to discussing the branding of the potential end of our modern world. I can say with some confidence, I’ve had a pretty fun time so far.

As far as the spread of false information, I won’t give you another mechanism, but I will highlight the underlying theme in both of them. And that, my friend, is the influence of emotion. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel award winning economist/psychologist, highlights this in his book: Thinking, Fast & Slow. Emotions not only strengthens preexisting biases by mixing our opinions with our ego and contextual feelings, but also, emotions shape our beliefs towards large-scale societal norms.  However, specifically relevant with Biased Assimilation, Kahneman speaks on the topic referring to it as ‘Theory-induced Blindness’ (which may in fact be a better coined term!).

One way he describes to overcome this effect with people is to use ‘mysterious coinage’ when specifically dealing in the realm of science. Instead of calling it ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’, one should use a much more obscure, agnostic word, like ‘system effect 1’ and ‘system effect 2’. Now, it’s not practical for all science topics because people don’t want to count to infinity with ‘system’ and ‘effect’ as prefixes, but there is some logic twisted in there. And it’s simple, it begs people to ask questions and inquire further about the topic rather than making surface level assumptions.

Now, I don’t know how marketable those terms can be, but maybe a balance between a ‘sexy’ advertisable phrase and a rigid ‘emotionless’ term may be the happy medium that science publicity departments are looking for.
~ R