Day 2 – Fake News and Alternative Facts: Making the Case for Nature
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Clifton Pavilion | Garden Room
How do we make the case for nature in our new, post-fact world of persistent misinformation, divisive spin and self-reinforcing echo-chambers?
Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol, explored a world of ‘alternative facts’ in communications.
Dan Metcalfe, Wellcome Trust, discussed how experts sabotage themselves, acknowledging consequences and the rarity of focus.
Amy Mount, Greener UK, outlined a campaign for engaging policy-makers with the case for nature
Prof. Adam Joinson, University of Bath, took us through fact-checking, targeted online communications, and what really makes us change our minds.
Professor Adam Joinson
Adam Joinson holds the post of ‘Professor of Information Systems’ at the University of Bath, School of Management. His research focuses on the interaction between psychology and technology, with a particular focus on how technology can be to shape behaviour, social relations and attitudes. Recently this work has taken in privacy attitudes and behaviors, computer-mediated communication, persuasion and persuasive technology, and human aspects of cyber-security. He is a co-lead for the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (www.crestresearch.ac.uk) and leads the CyberSecurity Across the Lifespan project (www.csalsa.uk).
Savita Willmott is Chief Executive of Bristol Natural History Consortium Savita joined BNHC in 2006, when the partners who make up the consortium were finding their way in the first years working together. She managed BNHC’s transition to charitable status in 2008, and as Chief Executive continues to grow the impact and reach of the projects locally, nationally and across Europe.
Savita has represented BNHC for a number of initiatives, including co-founding the UK Science Festivals’ Network, and chairing Defra’s People Engagement Group to advise government on implementing Biodiversity 2020. Savita travelled to Brussels to take part in Bristol’s presentation to win European Green Capital in 2013, and in 2014 and 2015 was seconded part time as the Director of Education and Engagement for Bristol 2015.
Savita represents the charity on a number of local and national boards and committees, and advises international engagement projects.
Dan Metcalfe is a specialist in developing and communicating behaviour change programmes. After cutting his teeth at Cancer Research UK, Dan worked at the Cabinet Office and Department of Health building initiatives such as Stoptober. He then left the Civil Service to join the Wellcome Trust in 2015 where he works on campaigns, behaviour change and external communications. Outside of the job, Dan enjoys running and historic propaganda, but rarely together.
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol. His research examines people’s memory, decision making, and knowledge structures, with a particular emphasis on how people update information in memory. His most recent research interests examine the potential conflict between human cognition and the physics of the global climate, which has led him into research in climate science and climate modeling. He has published more than 150 scholarly articles, chapters, and books, including numerous papers on how people respond to corrections of misinformation and what variables determine people’s acceptance of scientific findings.
(See www.cogsciwa.com for a complete list of scientific publications.)
Amy Mount coordinates the Greener UK coalition, a group of 13 major environmental organisations, with a combined public membership of 7.9 million. The coalition was established in the aftermath of the EU referendum, to ensure that the UK’s environmental protections and climate leadership are maintained and strengthened as Brexit unfolds.
Previously, Amy was a senior policy adviser on climate and energy at Green Alliance, leading work on public engagement in infrastructure planning, renewables investment, and energy efficiency policy. She has also worked at Futerra Sustainability Communications, the Royal Geographical Society, and Cambridge University Geography Department.
Avon Wildlife Trust
Bath & North East Somerset Council
BBC Natural History Unit
Bristol City Council
Bristol Zoo Gardens
University of Bath
University of Bristol
University of the West of England
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
The Natural History Consortium is a charitable collaboration between these member organisations.
Engaging people with the natural world through collaborative action. Reg Charity 1123432