Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 599–632

Scepticism and doubt in science and science education: the complexity of global warming as a socio-scientific issue

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11422-013-9500-0

Cite this article as:
Bryce, T.G.K. & Day, S.P. Cult Stud of Sci Educ (2014) 9: 599. doi:10.1007/s11422-013-9500-0

Abstract

This article looks critically at the complexity of the debate among climate scientists; the controversies in the science of global temperature measurement; and at the role played by consensus. It highlights the conflicting perspectives figuring in the mass media concerned with climate change, arguing that science teachers should be familiar with them, particularly given the sharply contested views likely to be brought into classroom discussion and the importance of developing intellectual scepticism and robust scientific literacy in students. We distinguish between rational scepticism and the pejorative meaning of the expression associated with attitudinal opposition to global warming—similar to the way in which Bauer (2006) contrasts micro-scepticism and macro-scepticism in reasoning generally. And we look closely and critically at the approaches which teachers might adopt in practice to teach about global warming at this difficult time.

Keywords

Global warming Climate change Scepticism Socio-scientific issues Discussion Scientific literacy 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  2. 2.University of the West of ScotlandAyrUK

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