The volunteers at Skeptical Science, along with staff at the University of Queensland, have been busy over the past several months putting together a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on climate change. The course, Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, starts on April 28th and is free to anyone who wants to participate. It will last for seven weeks and will require an hour or two of attention every week.
The University of Queensland has a press release.
Thousands of people have already signed up, but we are hoping for many more. Learning will not just come from watching the many short video lectures we have prepared, but from discussions with fellow students. So, no matter what your level of knowledge, or your point of view on man-made climate change might be, please join us. I’m looking forward to learning from this course, too.
All anyone needs is an Internet connection, a desire to learn and share your knowledge, and an ability to understand English spoken in American, British, Canadian and Australian accents.
Watch the trailer:
The course is not just about the science of climate change, but also the thought processes we all go through when grappling with a subject that is at once very complicated yet vital to our futures. Here’s an overview of the course content from the website:
In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.
- Why the gap between the public and scientists?
- What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?
- How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?
This course examines the science of climate science denial.
We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”
We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.
With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.
This isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.
We are excited about the MOOC and expect it to be a great learning experience. But the success of the course will ultimately depend on the student participants. So, join us!