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Well, Hello

(Image credit: Julia Vitullo-Martin)

Hi to all. I’m thrilled to be here at Science Progress—the next stage in what is nearly a decade long run for my science and politics blog, “The Intersection.”

Many of you may know me already. If you don’t, here are the specs.

I’m a science and political journalist and author, as well as a blogger, podcaster, and professional trainer of scientists in the art of communication.

I’m the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science, Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. And I’ve just completed the draft of a new book, which remains unannounced–but I tipped my hand a tad (but only a tad) with this recent article in Mother Jones.

I work regularly with the National Science Foundation to train scientists to be better communicators of their research, and travel monthly to different states to do so. (For more information on the “Science: Becoming the Messenger” program, see here.) I also blog twice a week for about climate change, and am a host of the Point of Inquiry podcast, with a new show airing every other Monday.

So what can you expect of this blog, “The Intersection,” at its new home at Science Progress?

I cover the policy and the politics of science, as well as the communication of science and a new area, the science of politics. I often invite guest bloggers with similar interests, like Jon Winsor and Jamie Vernon, to contribute as well.

So what does this mean?

Plenty of tracking of misuses of science, on the left and the right alike. I don’t believe the two sides are at all equal when it comes to doing this, but I do believe in at least trying to keep my side honest.

Plenty of analysis of why these kinds of abuses occur—i.e., what drives and motivates them.

Lots of discussion of the place of science in U.S. culture, and how to communicate it better–e.g., here. That includes an increasing focus on understanding what social scientists are telling us about how people’s minds work and why they resist inconvenient information—and how to better get it through, not just on science but on any contested factual issue.

Posts on science policy and scientific integrity issues.

Some dabbling in the history of science, when necessary–e.g., a politician, uh, invokes Galileo.

A dabbling in the science of politics itself—see e.g., here. This is a growing area of interest for me.

It’s really a very important time to be tracking the politics of science, its communication, and the scientific grounding for both of these. On the one hand, we have a situation in which, increasingly, the two political persuasions in the U.S. have diverging conceptions of reality itself. This leads to all manner of fact torturing and abuse.

At the same time, the social sciences—communications, political science, social psychology, even evolutionary psychology and neuroscience—are coming on strong with new insights about why these kinds of reality gaps occur, and how to possibly solve them.

And that’s what my next post is going to be about. Stand by.

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