talking biotech

Talking Biotech: Extreme GMO skeptics know the least about genetics—how should science communicators respond?

, | January 21, 2019
Kevin Folta: University of Florida plant geneticist Kevin Folta launched Talking Biotech in 2015.    More details

Researchers and communicators in biotechnology have experienced it for a long time–the people who oppose genetic engineering frequently know the least about it.  This observation was studied formally by a group of cognitive and social psychologists.

Related article:  Infographic: USDA data reveal dramatic growth of GMO crop adoption in US since 1996

Their conclusion: The people with the most extreme attitudes about genetic engineering also have the least working knowledge about the science behind it.  In this week’s podcast Dr. Philip Fernbach from the University of Colorado discusses the results of the study, along with a deeper discussion into the ramifications of these findings as they apply to science communication.


Link to the paper discussed

Dr. Fernbach’s website:, University of Colorado website

Here is his book:  The Knowledge Illusion: Why we Never Think Alone

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