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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In order to live well—or just to live, period—individuals must make use of much more scientific information than any can comprehend or verify. They achieve this feat not by acquiring expertise in the myriad forms of science essential to their well-being but rather by becoming experts at recognizing what science knows. Cases of persistent controversy over decision-relevance science do not stem from defects in public science comprehension; they are not a result of the failure of scientists to clearly communicate; nor are they convincingly attributable to orchestrated deception, as treacherous as such behavior genuinely is. Rather, such disputes are a consequence of disruptions to the system of conventions that normally enable individuals to recognize valid science despite their inability to understand it. Generating the knowledge needed to pre-empt such disruptions and repair them when they occur is the primary aim of the science of science communication.

Keywords: science communication, science comprehension, misinformation, controversy, recognizing valid science

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